Chris Colabello was a great story for about a month. The long-time independent leaguer and player for the Italian national team in the WBC had finally made it to the bigs and he broke out in a big way early, hitting .346/.386/.577 with four home runs and 26 RBI through April 23. Then he fell off the table. The Twins sent him down to the minors but he never regained his stroke, finishing the year with a line of .229/.282/.380 in 59 games.
It seems that he was injured, however, and that he tried to play through the injury:
According to the Worchester Telegram, a “Twins physician told him he had suffered nerve damage and only rest would help.”
Asked in early June about injury as a possible explanation for Colabello’s struggles, which initially continued at Rochester, a Twins official rejected that notion and suggested it was purely a matter of timing and confidence.
Colabello, unwilling to sit out after making a long-awaited breakthrough in a 27-RBI April, tried to improvise. He glued a strip of cotton to his batting gloves and wore a thumb protector at the plate, but his opportunities quickly dried up when he was unable to pull himself out of the slump.
“I don’t like to make excuses,” Colabello told the Telegram. “I chose to play and I’ll deal with the consequences.”
This is not the first time a Twins player has played through injury when he probably shouldn’t have, making one wonder whether Ron Gardenhire or others on the Twins staff created a culture in which players did not feel comfortable sitting in such situations. Or, it’s possible that Colabello was just desperate to stay in the bigs after so many years in the sticks.
Either way, the Pioneer Press now reports that he may be shopped to a Korean team. The Twins considered that with him last year, but Colabelo rejected it. now it would seem that he has far less of a realistic choice.