When the Twins referred to as up Gilberto Celestino early final June, it was extra out of necessity than a sense that the outfielder was able to be pressed into main league responsibility.
Byron Buxton was on the injured record. So was Max Kepler. And when Rob Refsnyder ran right into a wall pursing a house run and suffered a concussion, the Twins had been mild on gamers who might man middle discipline.
Celestino had performed in simply 24 video games at Double-A at that time and hadn’t taken an at-bat at Triple-A on the time of his first promotion, and that grew to become abundantly clear rapidly.
Quick ahead a yr and Celestino, now simply 23, seems to be like a very totally different participant. Coming into Tuesday’s recreation — which Celestino began instead of Buxton — he was hitting .327 with a 140 OPS+ (100 is league common), and he has appeared a lot comfy within the outfield, too.
“Final yr, as a result of it was fast, it was troublesome,” Celestino mentioned. “Everyone noticed it. However that, alternatively, helped me to regulate this yr. I knew what I used to be alleged to count on at this stage, in order that’s why I really feel extra comfy.”
In restricted main league at-bats final yr, Celestino hit simply .136 with a .177 on-base proportion and .288 slugging proportion. He struggled within the discipline at occasions, too. In a single notably memorable recreation in Kansas Metropolis, Celestino dedicated a pair of errors on the identical play, colliding with Trevor Larnach and muffing a catch earlier than airmailing a throw.
He discovered himself up and down between the majors and minors final season, and was truly optioned to Triple-A this spring earlier than the Twins reversed course and determined to hold him on the Opening Day roster.
He has appeared far more the a part of a serious leaguer since then.
“Each single side of his recreation seems to be prefer it’s taken a step or two in a constructive course. The offensive recreation, he seems to be like a extremely good major-league bat proper now, able to nearly something,” supervisor Rocco Baldelli mentioned. “He’s performed so nicely, in middle discipline, on the nook, he’s run the bases nicely. He seems to be like a man that’s maturing and turning into major-league participant. And to see a man make that form of leap and people changes simply from final yr, is nice to see.”
It’s been particularly vital as a result of the Twins have been constructing in off days for Buxton, who continues to be managing a knee concern. Between Celestino and Nick Gordon, an infielder changed into a transformed outfielder, the Twins have been capable of cowl these video games and go away Kepler in proper discipline, as they like.
And so they’ve been capable of really feel assured in doing so, thanks largely to Celestino’s maturation.
“Final yr, we had him on the market as a 22-year-old with restricted expertise and in truth, we in all probability didn’t put him in a really perfect spot to go on the market and carry out, and he did what he was requested to do in some powerful circumstances,” Baldelli mentioned. “However that is, I believe, a development of a proficient younger participant and I believe we’re seeing what he can do.”
Baldelli mentioned there was a “good risk” that Carlos Correa (finger) will return on Wednesday. If not, it will be Friday in Kansas Metropolis after the staff’s off day. … Bailey Ober (groin) rejoined the Twins after making a rehab outing, and mentioned he felt good and wholesome throughout that begin. The Twins plan on lining him up for a begin this weekend. … Baldelli mentioned the Twins had been “getting near sending,” Trevor Larnach (groin) out on a rehab project to get some at-bats.