For the second time this week the Twins have called up a player they signed out of an independent league.
First it was reliever Caleb Thielbar and now it’s first baseman Chris Colabello, who signed with the Twins last year after dominating in the Canadian-American Association.
Colabello is 29 years old and wasn’t all that impressive at Double-A in 2012, hitting .284 with an .828 OPS, but after playing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic he moved up to Triple-A this season and hit .358 with 12 homers in 46 games.
Our own Matthew Pouliot highlighted Colabello yesterday for having one of the 20 highest OPS totals in all of the minors and while his getting a chance because of Trevor Plouffe’s post-concussion symptoms is unfortunate Colabello is still a helluva story.
Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver has been reassigned to the bullpen, manager Mike Shildt announced Sunday. Fellow righty Daniel Poncedeleon will take his spot in the rotation for the time being, though it’s still unclear whether Weaver’s demotion is a permanent one or not.
Still, it’s not the most surprising of moves, especially as the club advances toward a potential playoff berth in October. Weaver, 24, has struggled to find his groove this season after putting up a 6-11 record in 24 starts and a 4.67 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2018. During two of his last three outings in August, he was pulled before the fifth inning, citing mechanical issues with his delivery that may be impacting his fastball location and delivery and having an adverse effect on his results — and those of the team — as well.
Poncedeleon, on the other hand, appears primed to take on more responsibility following an impressive run with the Cardinals this summer. He maintained a sub-3.00 ERA through his first six appearances, issuing four runs, nine walks, and 10 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t handled more than one start in the big leagues, his track record in the minors speaks to his ability to get consistent results on the mound: he went 9-3 in 17 starts at Triple-A Memphis with a 2.15 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 across 92 innings. He’s scheduled to cover for Weaver on Tuesday against the Pirates and will presumably continue to pitch out of the rotation for the remaining six weeks of the season.