Caleb John Thielbar (pronounced THEEL-bar)...Twitter: @cthielbar56...wife, Carissa is an assistant basketball coach at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD...couple has a young son, Joshua...2005 graduate of Randolph (MN) High School...2009 graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management...went 13-16, 5.79 ERA (196.0 IP, 126 ER) with 60 walks and 152 strikeouts in 49 career games (29 starts) for the Jackrabbits from 2006-09...went 5-8, 5.44 ERA (87.2 IP, 53 ER) with 31 walks and 100 strikeouts in 22 games (12 starts) during his senior season in 2009...ended career as the Jackrabbits all-time leader in starts (44) and innings pitched (274.0), and ranked second in strikeouts (196)...enjoys hunting in South Dakota in spare time and offseason.
Was an invite to Twins spring training and made Opening Day roster for second time in career, first since 2014...spent entire season with Twins...Nine of first 11 appearances were scoreless from April 6-May 7, posting a 3.00 ERA (12.0 IP, 4 ER) with two walks and 22 strikeouts in that span...Recorded career-high five strikeouts twice on season: April 6 at Detroit (2.0 IP) and April 14 vs. Boston (2.1 IP)...Struck out at least one batter in 10-straight appearances from Aug. 16-Sept. 11, the longest stretch of career...Did not allow an earned run in 25 of his final 29 appearances from July 20-Oct. 2, posting a 1.76 ERA (30.2 IP, 6 ER) in that span...the Twins went 18-11 in those games...Struck out at least one batter in 45 of 59 appearances and multiple batters in 22 appearances...Went 5-0, 2.13 ERA (38.0 IP, 9 ER) with a .215 (29-for-135) opponent batting average in 34 home games, compared to going 2-0, 4.85 ERA (26.0 IP, 14 ER) with a .255 (26-for-102) opponent batting average in 25 road games...Held left-handed batters to a .217 (18-for-83) batting average with -.653 OPS and right-handed hitters to a .240 (37-for-154) average with a .721 OPS...Set career-highs in games (59), innings pitched (64.0), strikeouts (77), holds (13), strikeouts-per-9.0 IP (10.8) and wins (7)...Finished tied for second on the club in wins and tied for third in games...Finished 7-0, and became the second Twins pitcher with at least seven wins, no losses and no starts in a season, joining Joe Nathan (7-0 in 64 relief appearances in 2006)...Was one of nine American League pitchers and 18 pitchers in baseball with at least seven wins and at least 10 holds...also one of 15 players in club history to do so...Was the only pitcher in baseball with a 1.000 winning percentage (minimum of 7 decisions)...Ranked 11th in the AL in games among left-handed pitchers.
Was an invite to Twins spring training and eventually began the season on Twins Taxi Squad... contract selected by Minnesota on Aug. 3...Made season debut Aug. 4 vs. Pittsburgh, allowing two runs on five hits in 2.1 innings pitched with two walks and three strikeouts...marked first major league appearance since April 30, 2015...a span of five years, three months and three days, fourth-longest appearance hiatus in Twins history, trailing Bert Blyleven (9 years, 64 days), Carlos Pulido (9 years, 22 days) and Craig Breslow (7 years, 322 days)...became second player to wear #72 (Pat Neshek ‘06)...After his first outing, his next 10 were scoreless from Aug. 7-Sept. 8, pitching 11.0 innings with three walk and 14 strikeouts...Earned the win September 1 vs. Chicago-AL, pitching 1.0 scoreless inning, holding a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning (Twins took lead in bottom half)...the 3-2 win snapped a six-game losing streak and kept them from falling 3.5 back in the division...it marked his first win since May 4, 2014, at Cleveland, a span of six years and 119 days between wins, the seventh longest span between victories in Twins/Senators franchise history (Harry Kelley, 4/16/25-6/21/38 - 13 years, 66 days; Mike Fornieles, 9/19/52-6/30/63 - 10 years, 284 days; Bert Blyleven, 5/23/76-8/8/85 - 9 years, 77 days; Nick Altrock, 7/17/1909-6/6/18 - 8 years, 324 days; Joey Haynes, 7/4/40-5/21-49 - 8 years, 321 days; Craig Breslow, 5/14/09-4/28/17 - 7 years, 349 days)...Set season-high with four strikeouts Aug. 30 at Detroit (2.0 IP)...Recorded 100th career strikeout Sept. 23 vs. Detroit, fanning Victor Reyes...Went 0-0, 0.00 ERA (7.1 IP) in eight road games and 2-0, 3.97 ERA (11.1 IP, 5 ER) in eight home games...Held left-handed batters to a .158 (3-for-19) batting average and right-handed batters to a .220 (11-for-50) average...Allowed just one of his 11 inherited runners to score for a 9.1 IRS%, tied with Trevor May for first on club...Made Postseason debut Sept. 29 in Game 1 of AL Wild Card Series vs. Houston, pitching 0.1 scoreless inning with one hit allowed.
Spent nearly entire season with Triple-A Toledo (Detroit)...finished in Atlanta organization...Appeared in 51 games on the season, 50 with Toledo and one with Triple-A Gwinnett (Atlanta) after being traded to Atlanta organization August 30...23 of final 29 appearances were scoreless beginning June 8, posting a 1.25 ERA (50.1 IP, 7 ER) and a .198 opponent batting average in that span...Led Mud Hens in games (50) and ranked second in International League (51)...Declared free agency November 4 and signed with Minnesota on minor league contract November 29.
Signed with Detroit organization January 22 on minor league contract...began season with Triple-A Toledo...split season between Mud Hens and Double-A Erie, making three stints with Toledo and four stints with Erie...combined to go 7-1, 2.05 ERA (57.0 IP, 13 ER) with five walks, 51 strikeouts and a .225 opponent batting average in 39 games.
Signed with Miami organization November 11, 2016 and was a non-roster invite to Marlins spring training...appeared in three games for the Marlins that spring, allowing five runs on eight hits in 1.2 innings pitched...released March 30...signed back with St. Paul Saints of the independent American Association, appearing in 17 games, going 2-1, 2.01 ERA (22.1 IP, 5 ER), four walks and 23 strikeouts with one save.
Pitched for the St. Paul Saints of the independent American Association, second time in career after starting 2011 season there...appeared in 42 games, going 5-2, 2.39 ERA (64.0 IP, 17 ER), with 15 walks, 56 strikeouts and four saves...led Saints in games and was fourth in strikeouts.
Spent third-straight spring training with the Twins...optioned to Triple-A Rochester April 1...made three appearances for the Red Wings and was recalled by the Twins April 17...appeared in six games for the Twins before being optioned May 1...designated for assignment July 31 when the Twins acquired Kevin Jepsen from Tampa Bay...acquired off waivers by San Diego August 8...made nine appearances with Triple-A El Paso to finish season.
Made first career Opening Day roster and was in Twins bullpen all season...Earned the win in second appearance April 3 at Chicago-AL...Posted 12-game scoreless streak (9.0 IP) April 6-May 13, allowing just five hits and two walks with six strikeouts...Allowed just one earned run in 10 June appearances (9.0 IP), for a 1.00 ERA...Allowed just one home run in final 38 games (35.2 IP), the homer by Alex Gordon August 17 vs. Kansas City...Set career-highs in games (54) and innings pitched (47.2)...Posted a 3.08 ERA (26.1 IP, 9 ER) in 28 home games and 3.80 ERA (21.1 IP, 9 ER) in 26 road games...Inherited bases loaded six times, the most in baseball and only three of 18 total runners in those instances scored.
Participated in his first Twins major league spring training, was optioned March 14...began season at Triple-A Rochester. Struck out 34 batters in 26.1 innings pitched for the Red Wings. Posted eight straight scoreless appearances April 17-May 18 and was recalled by Minnesota May 20. Started MLB career with 19.2 consecutive scoreless innings May 20-July 6, setting a Twins record tying him for sixth with the Mets' Joe Smith (April 1-May 5, 2007) for longest streak in baseball history to begin a career...allowed just five hits during the streak and struck out 17. Retired 31 consecutive batters faced without allowing a hit; according to Elias it tied Joe Nathan (2006) for the fifth longest in club history; had streak snapped by a Ben Zobrist home run July 8 at Tampa Bay...the streak was the second longest in club history for a rookie, short of Jerry Arrigo's 33 straight in 1964. Earned first major league win June 1 vs. Seattle, tossing 1.0 scoreless inning of relief. Allowed just two earned runs in first 28 appearances (28.2 IP), posting a 0.63 ERA in that span (until August 5). 41 of 49 appearances were scoreless, including 32 of first 36 May 20-August 25. Posted a .154 opponent batting average, the lowest in Twins history and second lowest in Twins/Senators franchise history (since 1901) behind Johnny Niggeling's 1943 average of .153. Posted a 1.76 ERA (46.0 IP, 9 ER), the sixth lowest in Twins history...his 49 games tied for eighth most for a rookie in Twins history. Ranked sixth in AL in ERA (minimum 40.0 IP), second among rookies...tied for fifth among AL rookies in appearances. Was given the Bill Boni Award as Twins Most Outstanding Rookie, voted on by the Twin Cities Chapter of the BBWAA.
Began season with Single-A Ft. Myers, going 1-1, 0.00 (12.1 IP) with four hits allowed, two walks and 16 strikeouts in seven games. ... Transferred to Double-A New Britain April 30. ... 13 of 16 appearances for the Rock Cats were scoreless; converted all four save opportunities. ... Transferred to Triple-A Rochester June 20. ... Recorded first career Triple-A win with 2.0 scoreless innings July 1 vs. Scranton-Wilkes/Barre. ... Recorded first career Triple-A save with 0.1 scoreless inning July 5 vs. Pawtucket. ... Struck out 20 batters in final 10 appearances (19.1 IP) July 28-September 1. ... Pitched for Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, going 1-0, 11.08 (13.0 IP, 16 ER) in 11 games. ... Added to Twins 40-man roster in November.
Started season with the St. Paul Saints in the Independent League...signed by Minnesota as a minor league free agent August 18 and reported to Single-A Ft. Myers...appeared in three games (1 start) tossing 7.1 scoreless innings.
Started the season with Single-A Wisconsin...transferred to Rookie Helena August 3...released by Milwaukee's organization December 13.
Began professional career with AZL Brewers, going 6-1, 1.59 (45.1 IP, 8 ER) in 14 appearances (2 starts)...transferred to Single-A Helena August 31 and made two scoreless relief appearances.