Twins call up former independent league star Chris Colabello

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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.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.