Caleb Thielbar was an 18th-round draft pick out of South Dakota State University for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009. He stayed in the system for just two years before he lost his job and signed on with the St. Paul Saints. As a home-grown option out of the bullpen for the Saints he put together an impressive season in 2011, including 62 strikeouts in 49.2 innings and a 2.43 ERA, putting him onto the Twins' radar.
Minnesota signed him early enough for Thielbar to fit in three appearances for Advanced-A Fort Myers at season's end. In 2012 he earned two promotions, starting in Fort Myers but ending the season in Triple-A Rochester. This season, in his first full year at Triple-A, he's struck out 34 in 26.1 innings while allowing just 27 hits. Overall, he's maintained his ground ball rates around 43% from last season for the Red Wings, while improving on his command and whiff rates.
What has truly earned Thielbar this promotion, though, is his improvement in the month of May. In April he pitched to a 5.82 ERA. Hitters scorched him early, to the tune of a .458 batting average on balls in play. This month, however, Thielbar has yet to allow a run in 9.1 innings. He's kept himself out of the zone a bit more often, and the results have been dramatic. The last time he allowed a run was April 25.
While the Twins need a starting pitcher for Friday's game in Detroit, whether it's Thielbar who gets sent back down or someone else is up for debate. To some extent, Thielbar's fate is somewhat in his own hands. Or hand.
Welcome to The Show, Caleb. Good luck.