It’s already been quite a week for former South Dakota State Pitcher Caleb Thielbar – and it’s only Monday.
Thielbar was called up by the Minnesota Twins earlier in the day, caught a plane to Atlanta, and got into his very first major league game the same day.
Monday night against the Braves, Thielbar came into the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, allowing a hit on his very first pitch, before retiring the next three batters. He then added a 1-2-3 eighth to finish with three strikeouts. Of his 25 pitches, 20 were strikes.
Thielbar became the first former Jackrabbit player to appear in a major league game.
The left-handed reliever was promoted from Triple-A Rochester. The Randolph, Minnesota native pitched in 17 games as a reliever this year with the Red Wings. He posted a 3.76 ERA with 34 strikeouts and eight walks in 26 1/3 innings.
He has pitched in eight straight games without allowing an earned run, dating back to late April. Last year he pitched for three of Minnesota’s minor league affiliates and eventually worked his way to to Triple-A, where he was 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA in 25 games.
He also appeared in 43 games for the American Association’s St. Paul Saints in 2011. Thielbar last pitched for the Jackrabbits during the 2009 season when he appeared in 22 games, made 12 starts, finishing with a 5-8 record and a 5.44 ERA.
The 26-year-old was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round of the 2009 draft and was signed by the Twins as a minor league free agent in 2011.
To make room for Thielbar on the roster, Minnesota optioned left-hander Pedro Hernandez to Rochester.
Thielbar is wearing number 56 with the Twins. He is the 29th native Minnesotan to play for the team.
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