Originally, Edwar Colina signed as a teenager out of Venezuela. He spent his first five seasons as a starter in the Twins organization and made it to Triple-A. In over 300 innings, he posted a 2.80 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. Even with his successes, he projected to fill a bullpen role at the big-league level.
During the 2020 season, Colina made his big-league debut, but things didn’t go perfectly. He allowed three earned runs on four hits while only recording one out. Even with this poor debut, he entered 2021 spring training with a chance to make the Opening Day roster. However, elbow inflammation became an issue, and he eventually underwent a season-ending arthroscopic debridement in late May.
Before his elbow issues, scouting reports on Colina had him with a 60-grade fastball and a 60-grade slider. Both of those pitches were good enough for him to be a successful reliever. There were questions about his control, which was one reason to shift him from starter to reliever. That being said, he was still considered among the team’s top prospects.
So, why did the team try and pass him through waivers?
According to Twins POBO Derek Falvey, Colina recently underwent a second medical procedure, which likely added doubt to when he will return from injury. He also makes it seem like the team will need plenty of roster spots for the moves they plan to make this winter.
Minnesota has plenty of other players on the 40-man roster that seem more expendable than Colina. Andrew Albers, Kyle Baraclough, Ian Gibaut, Drew Maggi, Nick Vincent, and Danny Coulombe are just a few fringe players who will likely not be on the 40-man roster when the team sets its roster in late November, prior to the Rule 5 draft. In fact, they may already be on waivers as you read this. It remains to be seen why these players couldn’t have been moved off now instead of Colina.
The current Twins front office hasn’t had a great track record when it comes to self-scouting. Minnesota has multiple players not protected on the 40-man go on to have success with other organizations. Colina has the chance to follow this same path. It may turn out that he never returns from injury, but he also has two dominant pitches that can make him a bullpen weapon. Time will tell if the Twins made another self-scouting mistake.
Why do you think the Twins made this move? Will it come back to haunt the team? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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