Thielbar makes major league debut
Former South Dakota State pitcher Caleb Thielbar was called up by the Minnesota Twins on Monday and made his major league debut, striking out three Atlanta Braves in two shutout innings out of the bullpen. In making his debut, Thielbar became the first former Jackrabbit player to appear in a major league game.
Thielbar entered the game in the bottom of the seventh and allowed one hit before retiring the next three batters. He retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth.
In four seasons (2006-09) at SDSU, Thielbar posted a 20-19 career record while setting the Jackrabbit career records with 274 innings pitched and 44 starts — both of which have been surpassed in 2013 by Stephen Bougher. He also ranks second in career strikeouts with 196 and shares the team single-season record with 100 strikeouts, which he set during his senior campaign.
A native of Randolph, Minn., Thielbar was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. He spent two seasons in the Brewers organization before signing with the Twins late in the 2011 campaign after a brief stint with the St. Paul Saints of the independent American Association.
A left-hander, Thielbar earned a spot on Minnesota's 40-man roster following a strong 2012 season in the minor leagues. He began the season at Class A Fort Myers of the Florida State League before making 16 relief appearances at Double-A New Britain (Conn.). He then spent the final three months of the 2012 season at Triple-A Rochester (N.Y.), posting a 3-1 record with one save and a 3.57 earned run average in 25 appearances.
So far in 2013, Thielbar made 17 appearances for Rochester, turning in a 1-1 record with one save and a 3.76 ERA. He struck out 34 batters and walked only eight in 26.1 innings.