'Comfortable' Colomé ready to help club win

February 21st, 2021

Reliever  joined the Twins on a one-year deal this offseason after spending the last two seasons on the other side of the club's rivalry with the White Sox. Though he had previously only faced the two-time reigning American League Central champs -- as opposed to playing for them -- some members of the Twins’ clubhouse are far from strangers to Colomé.

The righty heard from manager Rocco Baldelli and designated hitter Nelson Cruz, amongst others, during the recruitment phase of his free-agency process -- each of whom he knows well.

“After I had those two conversations, one with Rocco [Baldelli] and one with Nelson [Cruz], it was obvious that this was the place that I wanted to be,” Colomé said Sunday, via a translator.

Colomé's history with Baldelli dates to his early days in professional baseball with the Rays, the club he signed with in 2007 as an amateur free agent and later debuted with in '13. Baldelli spent time in that span both playing for and coaching Tampa Bay.

“It's really cool for me having seen Alex [Colomé] all the way back to the days of pitching in [Class A] to watching what he's developed into as a player and as a person,” Baldelli said Saturday. “He's done such a phenomenal job. When we were talking this offseason about additions to our club, he was very prominent in a lot of those discussions and I was not slow to get on the phone and give him a call. Just have a good conversation with him and talk to him about what the opportunities were looking like over here, and it didn't take long, really, after that.”

Colomé is looking forward to playing for his new manager.

“He’s always been someone open and welcoming," Colomé said. " ... That's something that is appealing ... a friendship with someone that listens to you, that's open to listening to you, and I feel comfortable and grateful that I'm here now with him."

Colomé played with Cruz on the Mariners in 2018, after a May trade sent the closer from the Rays to Seattle. Cruz, who re-signed with Minnesota this offseason, spoke highly of the Twins' organization in his talks with Colomé.

Cruz and the rest of the Twins should benefit from not having to face Colomé anymore. Current members of the team are 9-for-63 (.143) in 68 career plate appearances against the righty. Cruz, who has faced him the most among Twins players, is just 3-for-15.

What will it be like for Colomé to face his former team this season in key AL Central battles?

“Honestly, nothing changes in my mind,” he said. “I just got to go out there and it's the same job -- try to go out there every single day and help my team win.”

The first series between the two teams is May 11-13 in Chicago.

Players continue to arrive
Nine players participated in their first workouts on Sunday, as the list of pitchers and catchers who have yet to arrive in camp continues to dwindle. Jorge Alcala, Danny Coulombe, Tyler Duffey, Jhoan Duran, Ian Gibaut, Derek Law, Juan Minaya, Matt Shoemaker and Glenn Sparkman all worked out for the first time. The only remaining players from the 12 who were absent from the first day of organized activities on Friday are Andrew Albers and Tomás Telis.