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Thielbar has solidified himself in Twins' bullpen

MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar has been through the baseball ringer. But now in the Major Leagues with his hometown team, Thielbar has solidified himself as a consistent performer.

The Randolph, Minn., native went from pitching with the St. Paul Saints of the Independent Professional Baseball Federation to a bullpen ace who hasn't allowed a run in 14 appearances this season.

"That's pretty cool and another really good story," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Thielbar's career path. "But he's been really good up here, not just marginal, he's been throwing the ball really well. He's at that point where I'm not afraid to bring him in against big boys at any time of the game now."

In 15 2/3 innings -- including an inning in Friday night's 9-3 loss -- Thielbar has allowed only five hits and has held opponents hitless in six straight appearances.

"We talked about [Thielbar] this morning and whether or not he's going to get some more meaningful innings or whatever that means," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "I guess that means moving him back towards the back of that bullpen."

Gardenhire commended the way Thielbar handles himself in all aspects of the game and noted he has a little something extra special to him.

"He's quiet and he's got a little funk to him," Gardenhire said. "He's got a nice breaking ball. You hardly know the guy's around. He goes about his business pretty good."

Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for
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