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Thielbar makes Twins 40-man roster!

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Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have added outfielder Aaron Hicks, infielder Danny Santana, catcher Josmil Pinto, left-handed pitcher Caleb Thielbar and right-handed pitchers Kyle Gibson, B.J. Hermsen, Michael Tonkin and Tim Wood to their major league roster.

Hicks batted .286 (135-for-472) with 21 doubles, 11 triples, 13 home runs, 61 RBI and 100 runs scored in 129 games at Double-A New Britain.  Hicks, who was named to the Baseball America Double-A All-Star Team, was drafted by the Twins in the first round (14th overall) of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Woodrow Wilson (CA) High School.

Santana batted .286 (145-for-507) with 21 doubles, nine triples, eight home runs, 60 RBI and 70 runs scored in 121 games at Single-A Ft. Myers.  Santana was signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in December of 2007 at the age of 17 and is a native of the Dominican Republic.

Pinto hit a combined .295 (117-for-396) with 14 home runs and 60 RBI in 105 games between Ft. Myers and New Britain. Pinto, who was selected to the Florida State League All-Star Game and later named as the High Class-A All-Star Catcher by Baseball America, was signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in 2006 and is a native of Venezuela.  

Thielbar pitched at three different levels for the Twins last season, including Ft. Myers and New Britain before finishing the season with Triple-A Rochester.  Over a combined 48 appearances, Thielbar posted a 2.43 ERA (77.2 IP, 21 ER) with 74 strikeouts and just 21 walks. The Randolph, Minnesota native attended South Dakota State University and was signed by the Twins as a minor league free agent in 2011. 

Gibson spent the season rehabbing from “Tommy John” surgery and made a combined 13 minor league appearances, including two starts for Rochester.  Gibson, who was originally drafted by the Twins in the first round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft (22nd overall) out of the University of Missouri, recently made six starts for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League and posted a 3-2 record with a 5.40 ERA (23.1 IP, 14 ER). 

Hermsen started the season at Ft. Myers before being promoted to New Britain on April 30.  The Iowa native made 22 starts for the Rock Cats and posted a 3.22 ERA (139.2 IP, 50 ER) while earning an Eastern League All-Star selection.  Hermsen, who was named the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year, was drafted by the Twins in the sixth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of West Delaware (IA) High School.

Tonkin made a combined 44 appearances between Single-A Beloit and Ft. Myers and went 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA (69.1 IP, 16 ER) with 12 saves and 97 strikeouts. Tonkin, who was named the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Month in June, was originally drafted by the Twins in the 30th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Palmdale (CA) High School.

Wood posted a 2.19 ERA (70.0 IP, 17 ER) over 54 appearances for Triple-A Indianapolis (Pittsburgh) last season.  Signed by the Twins as a minor league free agent earlier this month, Wood was named the International League Relief Pitcher of the Year by Baseball America.  The 30-year old has made 57 major league appearances with Florida and Pittsburgh and is a native of Tucson, Arizona.

In addition, the Twins have agreed to terms with the following players on minor league contracts with invitations to major league camp: right-handed pitchers Samuel Deduno, Shairon Martis, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters; outfielders Brian Dinkleman and Wilkin Ramirez; infielders James Beresford and Deibinson Romero and catcher Eric Fryer.

Lastly, the Twins agreed to minor league contracts with right-handed pitcher Tom Boleska and infielder Jason Christian and they will report to minor league camp.

The Twins now have 40 players on their major league roster.

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