Twins top prospect Kyle Gibson needs Tommy John surgery

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Kyle Gibson was supposed to be in Minnesota’s rotation by now, but instead the Twins’ top prospect and 2009 first-round pick won’t see the majors before 2013.

Last month Gibson was shut down at Triple-A following a brutal six-week stretch and the Twins diagnosed with him a partially torn elbow ligament. They advised him to try rest and rehab rather than immediately going under the knife, but today the team announced that Gibson will indeed have Tommy John surgery on September 7.

There’s an outside chance he could see some game action in the minors late next season, but with the typical 12-18 month recovery timetable the best-case scenario for Gibson reaching the majors is now likely mid-2013. What a depressing season for the Twins.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.