Caleb Thielbar goes from independent ball to the majors with the Twins

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Caleb Thielbar was pitching for the independent league St. Paul Saints in 2011 and now he’s headed to the majors.

Minnesota signed Thielbar after he impressed with the Saints and he’s steadily climbed through the Twins’ farm system, putting together a very impressive stretch at Triple-A this year in which he’s allowed zero earned runs and a .105 opponents’ batting average in 11.1 innings since late April. Overall this season Thielbar has a 3.76 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 26.1 innings and he’ll get a look as the third left-hander in the Twins’ bullpen.

He was originally the Brewers’ 18th-round pick in 2009, but got released before advancing beyond Single-A and the Minnesota native had to settle for an independent league gig to keep pitching. Helluva story and based on his numbers in the minors Thielbar might actually stick around for a while.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

New Era
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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: