Twins prospect Kyle Gibson may need Tommy John surgery

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As if Minnesota hasn’t had enough injuries on the big-league roster this season now the Twins’ top prospect, 2009 first-round pick Kyle Gibson, has been shut down with elbow problems and underwent an MRI exam to determine if he needs Tommy John surgery.

Gibson got off to a good start at Triple-A, but then went 0-5 with a 6.47 ERA from June 1 through mid-July before the Twins decided to take him out of Rochester’s rotation.

He’s scheduled to be examined by team doctors early next week and in the meantime Twins minor league director Jim Rantz told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that “you’re always concerned it might be his ulnar nerve” and “there’s enough concern that we’re bringing him to Minnesota.”

Gibson, who fell to the Twins with the 22nd pick coming out of college because of a fracture in his forearm, ranked 61st on Baseball America‘s list of top prospects coming into the season and pitched in the Futures Games during the All-Star break last month. Back in spring training there was talk of Gibson joining the Twins’ rotation in the second half, but now he might be out until 2013.

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.