Gibson is throwing at home in a 70-foot long shed with an artificial mound in his backyard in Missouri during the delay for major league baseball, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Gibson throws 40 to 50 pitches into a net, resting after about every set of 15 throws in order to simulate a three-inning outing. His six-year-old daughter holds an iPad hooked to a Rapsodo pitch monitor to determine balls and strikes. "I'm trying to mimic [spring training] as much as possible," Gibson said. "I figure we are going to have three or four starts to get ready. If you don't keep up your strength and endurance, you aren't going to be where you need to be when we get back." Last season, Gibson was stricken with ulcerative colitis, an auto-immune disease that puts him at an elevated risk for COVID-19 infection, although doctors told the right-hander there is no definitive evidence that he's at any higher risk for the disease's most serious manifestations.
Gibson allowed one hit and one walk while striking out two over three scoreless innings in Saturday's spring game against the Brewers. Gibson worked another scoreless spring start, but it didn't happen without drama. The Brewers loaded the bases with one out in the third inning, but the right-hander escaped unscathed by getting Orlando Arcia to ground into an inning-ending double play. Of Gibson's repertoire, he throws the sinker the most, so it's not surprising to see him generate the double-play groundout. He leads MLB with 136 double plays over the last six seasons. "Definitely glad those haven't left me," Gibson told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. "I feel really confident in those situations that I can get out of them. Definitely like to see those happen early on in spring." There was some concern that Gibson, who battled ulcerative colitis in 2019, might be behind other starters. However, he was able to throw another 15 pitches in the bullpen following Saturday's stint and, with another three scheduled Cactus League starts, should have his pitch count up in time to take his first turn through the rotation.
Gibson allowed one hit and one walk while striking out one over two scoreless innings in Monday's spring game against Cleveland. Gibson, who made his spring debut Monday, is slightly behind schedule in building up innings as he manages an ulcerative colitis diagnosis that impacted his 2019 season. "I felt pretty good in all the live BPs that I threw in the bullpen," Gibson told Sam Blum of the Dallas Morning News. "So I wasn't feeling like I needed to work on one thing. I think next time I'll work on a little more consistency with my curveball and my changeup a little bit." The right-hander is lining up to be the No. 4 starter in Texas' rotation.
The Rangers are being careful with Gibson, who lost strength last season while dealing with ulcerative colitis, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports. Gibson has been throwing his bullpen sessions and looks ready for spring training, but pitching coach Julio Rangel plans to take it "a day at a time." Rangel later added that he does not foresee any problems with Gibson, who is slated as a member of the rotation.
Gibson agreed in principle Wednesday on a contract with the Rangers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. The terms of Gibson's contract aren't known, but he'll likely head to Texas on a multi-year deal after fielding interest from several teams so far this offseason. The 32-year-old has demonstrated some impressive durability with at least 29 starts in each of the past three seasons, but he took a step back in 2019, posting a 4.84 ERA and 1.44 WHIP across 160 innings with the Twins. The Rangers are likely hoping that Gibson can at least eat some innings as a mid-rotation pitcher, and the move to Texas may not be as punishing for his fantasy prospects compared to years past with the team set to play games under a retractable roof in 2020.
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