MINNEAPOLIS Midway Stadium in St. Paul is just a 15-minute drive east from Target Field in Minneapolis. For Caleb Thielbar, though, the distance had to seem so much farther in 2011.
At that time, Thielbar was released from the Milwaukee Brewers organization and signed to pitch for the St. Paul Saints, the independent club known more for wacky promotions than for producing major league talent. With no options at the time, though, Thielbar took what he could and opted to pitch in his home state of Minnesota even if it was an independent league team.
The Randolph native was 3-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 43 relief appearances for the Saints. Those numbers were enough to turn the heads of the Minnesota Twins, who routinely scout the Saints and other independent league teams to comb for potential minor league talent.
Two years later, Thielbar was at Target Field not as a spectator but as a Twin.
"Obviously it's awesome being in the big leagues," Thielbar said Wednesday, his first time suit...