Front: Caleb Thielbar pitching for AAA Rochester (courtesy of Montreal Gazette). Above: Thielbar as a member of the Little Falls Miners in 2007 (Photo Jon Rathburn/LF Times)
The Minnesota Twins have added relief pitcher Caleb Thielbar (Little Falls 2007) to their current 40-man roster. Thielbar was one of eight players the Twins recalled on November 20. Read the full release from the Twins here.
Thielbar, 25, is the first player from the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs organization to make a Major League Baseball roster. Thielbar pitched for the franchise in 2007 when it was known as the Little Falls Miners. He was a 2007 New York Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game selection and struck out 52 batters in 52 innings pitched.
Thielbar is one of 10 players on Major League rosters that have played for a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League organization. The current list can be found here.
The Northfield, Minn., native mostly recently competed in the prestigious Arizona Fall League with the Peoria Javelinas. Peoria won the AFL championship with a roster that included seven Minnesota farm hands as well as pitcher Logan Darnell (Amsterdam 2008) and infielder Stefen Romero (Glens Falls 2008). Thielbar appeared in 11 games and struck out 12 batters in 13.0 innings. He fanned multiple batters in two of his last three outings of the fall and recorded three multiple-strikeout games.
Thielbar raced through the Twins minor-league system in 2012 as he pitched at three different levels from Advanced-A through Triple-A. The South Dakota State University graduate began 2012 in the Twins minor league spring training camp. On March 31, he was activated on Minnesota’s Major League Spring Training roster. On the same day, he pitched one inning of relief for the Twins against in the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The southpaw officially opened the 2012 season with the Florida State League’s Fort Myers Miracle. Thielbar quieted opponents’ bats over seven appearances in which he did not allow an earned run. He struck out 16, walked two and converted one save in 12.1 innings. The 25-year-old was promoted to Double-A New Britain on April 30, less than four weeks into the season. He walked only three in 16 appearances and carved out a 2-0 record with four saves and a 1.80 earned run average. Thielbar struck out 26 batters in 25 innings and held Double-A hitters to a .180 batting average.
The Little Falls product spent less than two months in New Britain and earned a promotion to Triple-A Rochester in mid-June. Thielbar logged 25 appearances for Minnesota’s top affiliate in the International League. He went 3-1 with one save and a 3.57 earned run average in his first Triple-A campaign. The six-foot southpaw fanned 32 and walked 16 in 40.1 innings pitched.
Caleb began his professional career in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system in 2009. He was an 18th-round pick (556th overall) of the Brewers in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He spent two years in the Brewers system working primarily as a reliever. Following a break-up with the Brewers in 2011, Thielbar was tapped by the independent St. Paul Saints of the American Association. Thielbar pitched in 43 games for the Saints and struck out 62 batters in 49.2 innings. He went 3-3 with a 2.54 earned run average and walked just 15 men. In August of 2011, Thielbar became the first St. Paul Saint to be signed by the Minnesota Twins.