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GAME THREAD: Twins @ Angels, 4/16/21, 9:38 PM CDT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:19 PM
It’s always thrilling when your team snatches victory from the jaws of victory, as the Twins did yesterday afternoon at Target Field agai...
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Twins Minor League Report: Depth Camp Opportunites

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 03:15 PM
Spring Training 2021 certainly was different than most years, but one of the interesting parts was the implementation of the depth camp....
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Effects of the shift

Other Baseball Today, 02:20 PM
This was a discussion about the effects of defensive shifts in baseball, split from today's game thread. Feel free to join in below!...
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A rant

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:08 PM
I've been on about this for two years now, but Baldelli really needs to get over the idea that his best players need a game off every wee...
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Morneau

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:57 AM
I thought he was was really good last year. Maybe I'm on an opening day high (Not high) but he is so good.Who would have thought he would...
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It's Not Time to Worry About Alex Colomé

Alex Colomé made his Twins debut and promptly blew a three-run save in fantastic fashion. Judgements shouldn’t be drawn from one appearance, but let’s see what we can learn from this Opening Day disaster.
Image courtesy of Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
It’s worth remembering what kind of pitcher Alex Colomé is, and that’s one that pitches to weak contact. In 2020 Colomé had only a 17.8 K% but was in the top 25% of the league in hard hit % allowed. The reason this is noteworthy is that on Opening Day Colomé allowed an average exit velocity of only 85.3 mph.

In terms of the skills that have made Colomé a superb reliever the last few years, everything looked fine. Perhaps the Twins would like to coax a few more strikeouts out of him to help escape some jams that come up, but in terms of stuff, Colomé was as advertised.

The real issue was pretty pretty obvious, and that was the defense we saw in the ninth inning.



I crack myself up. In all seriousness though these stats do tell a story. For as bad as Colomé appeared to be, it’s not like he gave up a homer like Hendricks did in his White Sox debut. He likely escapes unscathed with solid defense.

It would of course be insincere not to mention that Colomé was his own worst enemy on defense, as he committed the costly error that cracked the door open for the Brewers to eventually kick down. Throwing to second base with a three-run lead, one out and a runner on first is more of a mental blunder than a physical one. Colomé being the seasoned closer he is just had a brain cramp. It wasn’t pretty but it’s doubtful that such a mistake is likely to become a trend with Colomé unlike giving up a bunch of loud contact which may foreshadow future issues for example.

There was also a bit of bad luck involved in Colomé’s outing. I’m still not convinced the hit by pitch to Kolten Wong was worthy of awarding him first base. The ball clearly hit the knob of the bat in replay. Max Kepler also almost made a fantastic play on a ball with a 97% chance of being a hit which would have saved Colomé as well. It wasn’t an error on Max, but he did a great job of making it a catchable ball and couldn’t quite come up with it.

All of this to say that no, Alex Colomé is not toast after one appearance in a Twins uniform. We should not trade him for whatever we can get. The Twins bullpen is not already a dumpster fire. A mental mistake and a series of bad breaks led to a very unfortunate meltdown on Opening Day. All signs at this time point to Colomé being just fine. We may all be on the edge of our seats in his next appearance, but Alex Colomé will absolutely play a big role in the 2021 Twins bullpen.

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7 Comments

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The Wise One
Apr 03 2021 04:36 PM

What is learned about a player after 1 inning can be defined as nothing that was not known before 

I don't know how anyone could calculate that the ball Kepler "dropped" (no dive, kind of a lazy running leap/hop, plenty of space from the wall and not a particularly speedy run needed to get there, and the ball clearly hit the meat of his glove and he just didn't squeeze it....) had a 97% chance of being a hit. I would have called it an error. And the pitch that was hit? Total week meat with no movement right down the middle. Like ST batting practice. 

 

It was just one game for the 32 year old that was not competitively sought after in the off season. I worry about all pitchers like Colome in the closing or late inning role, and always feel they are lucky to get out of the innings they do. So I guess I will be worrying all season.......

100%! A veteran RP with a 5yr track record as such from good to elite. A bad game, some close calls, a frustrating loss. Stinks losing the first game when it seemed locked up. But it's also why they play 162. Robles and the rest of the pen looked good. Too much focus on one bad game. NEXT!
    • puckstopper1 likes this

It's Not Time to Worry About Alex Colomé

Please let me know when is the time. I like to plan ahead, but am willing to do just-in-time when the supply chain is reliable. :)

 

OK, but less flippantly, the inning pointed up exactly the value of having a strikeout profile as a reliever, which the article kind of dismissed in passing. 7 PA and no K's, and any of four of those PA being a strikeout instead of in play stood to have changed the way the inning came out. Colome won't go the season without strikeouts, but more is better, and his seasonal trend has been in the other direction.
 

Yeah, with a three-run lead you take the easy out as a double play would be hard to turn. 

 

That the Kepler could've been an out...well....

 

I would've walked Shaw to load the basis and have a forceout at any base. Considering the weak groundout......

 

The killer was the Twins striking out 17 times. And two of our best contact hitters couldn't put the ball in play with a runner starting the tenth on second base.

I was here to make a similar ERA joke but you beat me to it.

 

He's still on a pace for 81 saves.

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Harrison Greeley III
Apr 04 2021 06:24 PM

I talked to a friend who's a White Sox fan about him after they signed him. Paraphrasing his take, 'He puts 2 runners on like every time, but he gets the job done.' So therefore I've set my expectations at 2003 Eddie Guardado. He'll be fine. But I will likely switch to radio and go for a walk or turn the game off and await my mlb.com game over notification when he pitches the 9th with a slim lead.