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Rookie Gibson foresees innings limit this season

CHICAGO -- Kyle Gibson doesn't hear a clock ticking, but he knows there may be one somewhere.

The 25-year-old rookie right-hander, about 21 months removed from Tommy John surgery, expects the Twins to cut his season short at some point. He doesn't know when that might be, but he hopes it won't be any time soon.

"I feel great," Gibson said. "My arm's recovering just as well. [Strength and conditioning coach Perry Castellano's] doing a great job with my strength and conditioning and the running, and I'm feeling good. I feel like about the same when I started the season."

Gibson said general manager Terry Ryan hasn't said anything to him about a possible shutdown, but he's thrown 42 innings with the Twins this season (including 5 2/3 on Friday), in addition to 92 2/3 with Triple-A Rochester.

"That's coming from other offices other than mine," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said when asked about a possible shutdown. "I'll let them tell me what their thought process is. I'm sure we'll sit and talk about it as we go along and make a decision. ... We'll eventually sit down and figure out which route to go with him."

In his first Major League season, Gibson is 2-3 with a 6.43 ERA. He says his velocity remains in the low-to-mid 90s, where he'd like it, but he's been paying for costly mistakes in his last four starts. After not allowing any home runs in his first four starts (spanning 22 1/3 innings), he's given up seven in his last four (19 2/3 innings).

The righty expects to be shut down somewhere between 150-160 innings.

"I don't think my opinion or effectiveness or strength is really going to play into it," Gibson said. "They have a number in mind, and once I get there, they're probably going to back me down and say, 'That's enough, get ready for next year.'"

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.
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