Tag Archives: Alex Colome

As 2019 MLB trade deadline arrives the Phillies remain linked to arms

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Folks at the MLB Network will be busy on trade deadline day

The 2019 trade deadline has finally arrived in Major League Baseball, and the Philadelphia Phillies continue to be linked to a number of players.

Two pitchers with the same first name are among the more frequently mentioned when it comes to deadline deals for the Phillies: Alex Wood and Alex Colome.
Wood is a 28-year-old left-hander currently with the Cincinnati Reds. The North Carolina native was a second round choice of the Atlanta Braves in the 2012 MLB Draft out of the University of Georgia. He can become a free agent after this season, so would be a pure rental unless he can be signed to an extension.
Wood was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a huge 12-player, three-team deal between the Braves, Dodgers and Miami Marlins at the 2015 trade deadline. He was then sent to the Reds along with Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig back in December.
The southpaw has a 52-40 career record over 173 games (130 starts) across parts of seven big-league seasons. Due to back issues, Wood did not make his 2019 season debut with Cincinnati until this past weekend. On Sunday, Wood allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 4.2 innings against the Colorado Rockies.
The Phillies have taken a very close look at Alex Wood and have discussed Tanner Roark, too. With Cincinnati’s acquisition of Trevor Bauer, figure one of those SP is on the move.

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Wood also would bring 16 games of postseason experience, including a pair of starts with the Dodgers, one each in the NLCS and World Series while with the Dodgers in 2017.
Wood is scheduled to make his next start on Friday. The Phillies have already announced that Jason Vargas will make his debut with the team that night, and Saturday is Aaron Nola‘s regular turn. Should Wood be acquired, he would most likely make his Phillies debut on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park against the Chicago White Sox.
Colome is a 30-year-old reliever out of the Dominican Republic. He is under club control via arbitration for one more season, and can become a free agent following the 2020 campaign.
Currently the closer with the Chicago White Sox, who will be visiting Citizens Bank Park for a series beginning on Friday, Colome could theoretically pitch against the Chisox rather than for them this weekend.
There are plenty of teams who are pursuing closer Alex Colomé, who has 21 saves and is yielding an .079 batting average, but the Sox are currently planning to keep him in hopes of contending in 2020.

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Colome has a 3-1 record with 21 saves. He has a 2.21 ERA, 3.82 FIP and 0.762 WHIP, allowing just 19 hits over 40.2 innings with a 32/12 K:BB. Over the course of his career, Colome has done a good job keeping the ball in the park with just a 0.8 HR/9 ratio over 381.1 innings. He would likely become a co-closer in Philly with Hector Neris.
General manager Matt Klentak has already made a number of modest moves in an attempt to incrementally improve his ball club while not sacrificing top prospects. Here is a quick look back at the new players added to the mix in recent weeks:
July 13 – Logan Morrison: 9-year big-leaguer signed as a free agent. He is a lefty bat with 137 career home runs. Hit 38 homers as recently as two years ago with the Tampa Bay Rays. Has played mostly at first base and left field, but has no significant LF time since 2012. Currently with Triple-A Lehigh Valley but could be called to Philly at any time now.
July 19 – Mike Morin: 6-year veteran right-hander was purchased from the Minnesota Twins. Over parts of six big-league seasons has appeared in 211 games with five clubs, including now with the Phillies. Tossed two perfect shutout frames with two strikeouts in his last appearance vs Braves on July 26.
July 21 – Drew Smyly: 6-year big-league lefty has started and won his first two outings with the Phillies after signing as a free agent. Over 171 career appearances (96 starts) he has allowed 595 hits over 634.2 innings with a 617/198 K:BB.
July 27 – Jose Pirela: 6-year big-league veteran was purchased from the San Diego Padres and sent to Triple-A Lehigh Valley as infield depth insurance. had 10 homers and 40 RBIs with Padres in 2017 when he was given 344 plate appearances. Has appeared in 290 games in MLB, with 127 at second base and 110 in the outfield.
July 29 – Jason Vargas: 36-year old, 14-year big-league veteran left-hander was obtained in a trade from the New York Mets in exchange for minor league catcher Austin Bossart. Vargas has made 287 appearances in MLB (266 starts) and has a 98-95 record with a career 4.26 ERA, 4.42 FIP and 1.315 WHIP. He has allowed 1,604 hits over 1,587.2 IP with a 1,104/484 K:BB ratio. Won a career-high 18 games with the Kansas City Royals just two years ago.
July 30 – Blake Parker: 34-year-old, seven-year big-league veteran right-handed reliever began the season as the Minnesota Twins closer after spending the 2017-18 seasons as a key member of the Los Angeles Angels bullpen. Parker signed as a free agent with the Phillies. This season he had 10 saves and a 4.21 ERA, allowing 34 hits over 36.1 IP with a 34/16 K:BB and had pitched very well over more than a month before imploding in his final Twins appearance vs the New York Yankees.

Is Bryce Harper on the verge of announcing his long-term home?

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A decision on Harper’s future might be coming very soon

It has been roughly ten days since I last wrote anything regarding the Phillies pursuit of free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. I said that I wasn’t going to write something every time some new rumor popped up, and I’m sticking to that here.

What has me back writing on the topic is not some new rumor that we’re hearing. Instead, it’s what we are not hearing that has me back on the topic.
Regarding the Harper situation, I am finding that the silence is deafening.
When is the last time that you heard or read any rumors regarding Harper from any legitimate, reliable source? It’s been awhile. The usual insiders and talking heads were reporting on claims of some unnamed “source” on a regular basis. Now, those reports appear to have dried up.

Contrast that with the Machado situation, where just this past week it become public knowledge that a new team, the San Diego Padres, had aggressively jumped into the hunt for the young superstar infielder.
It was Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune who first broke the story on Friday that the Padres were the “mystery team” in on Machado, something that had been widely speculated for days prior:

“According to multiple sources aware of talks between the sides but not authorized to speak publicly, the Padres are pursuing the 26-year-old superstar with the intention of playing him at third base.”

A.J. Cassavell at MLB.com followed up on Saturday by logically presenting how the 26-year-old would slot into the San Diego present and future, stating “Machado’s fit with the Padres is probably better than it is almost anywhere else.
Dennis Lin at The Athletic tweeted on Saturday that the Padres were actively seeking a face-to-face meeting with Machado and his representatives.
Sources: The Padres have expressed interest in arranging a meeting with Manny Machado, possibly in Miami. SD would like to get some face time before becoming more involved with the free agent.

What all of this continuing pursuit of Machado tells me is that he has not yet decided. Despite much speculation that his decision was likely down to the Phillies and Chicago White Sox, that appears now to be nothing more than just that – speculation.
If Machado were that close to a decision and in a serious final decision-making process, why suddenly open up what have been months-long visits, considerations, and negotiations?
You would think that he and his reps would simply thank the Padres for their interest, but let the team know that he has been involved in deep considerations with others for weeks, if not months, and was preparing to make a final decision.
To have the process remain open, or to be re-opened, and allow San Diego to become a serious suitor this late says to me that Machado is not as far along in his decision-making process as some sources might lead you to believe.
On the other hand, there is nothing coming out on Harper. The Yankees, Dodgers, and Cubs all appear to be out. The last rumors widely circulating had the process narrowed to the Phillies, White Sox, and his old team, the Washington Nationals.
However, the more you really examine the Nationals and White Sox situations closely, the more neither team appears to be a logical fit.
Washington has already spent a lot this off-season to bring in free agent pitchers Patrick Corbin, Anibal Sanchez, and Trevor Rosenthal. They have looming negotiations with third baseman Anthony Rendon, who can become a free agent next off-season. And the Nats can replace Harper internally with two of the top young outfield prospects in the game in 20-year-old Juan Soto and 21-year-old Victor Robles.

The White Sox signed Alonso, who is Machado’s brother-in-law, earlier this off-season. (BubbaFan/WikiCommons)
The White Sox want to make a splash this off-season, perhaps as much as the Phillies. To that end, they have bolstered their bullpen with the additions of closer Alex Colome and setup man Kelvin Herrera via free agency.
But a strong clue as to the South Sider’s true desires can be found in their free agent position player additions. Chicago has signed both Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay this off-season.
Alonso is Machado’s brother-in-law and Jay is his good friend. As players, both are marginal additions. But as moral support for Machado, friendly faces to make a new locker room more comfortable, they could be invaluable.
What all of this continuing activity and interest in Machado tells me is that no decision is coming soon. What the silence surrounding the Harper situation tells me is the exact opposite.
I believe that it is very possible that Harper has indeed made a final decision. In that case, the silence right now would be due to his agent, Scott Boras, and the signing team going through the “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s” contract process. With Harper, there are likely to be many details, including bonus incentives, “out” clauses, and both team and player options.

Hey, I could be wrong. But to me, it smells like we may be near an end to the Harper situation. And to me, the Phillies remain the most likely team to be slotting the 26-year-old outfielder into the middle of their lineup this coming season.
On Machado, well, no end appears to be in sight, and I wouldn’t lay money on the Phillies being involved at this point. We shall see.

Originally published at Phillies Nation as Bryce Harper closer to a decision than Manny Machado?

Tampa Bay Rays successfully transition Alex Colome to the closer role

Colome (L) leads the American League in Saves
Way back on July 28, 2000 the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays completed a trade with the Oakland Athletics. The D-Rays sent away a pair of arms in Jim Mecir and Todd Belitz, and in return received a Double A right-hander named Jesus Colome.
Colome had a big arm, with pitches clocked at over 100 miles per hour. He made his big league debut with Tampa in June of 2011 as a reliever, beginning what would be a 10-year career in Major League Baseball.
Colome left via free agency, signing with the New York Yankees. He would end up pitching again in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Seattle Mariners. Jesus retired following the 2010 season at age 32, but would show up for a 2012 stint in the Mexican League.
A year later, the Rays would debut another Colome at the big league level. This one was Alex Colome, the nephew of Jesus. The younger Colome had signed out of the Dominican Republic as an 18-year old in March of 2007.

DEVELOPMENT AS A STARTING PITCHER

Alex would be developed as a starter by the Tampa organization. He put himself on the prospect map by going 7-4 over 15 starts with Low A Hudson Valley in 2009. Colome registered a 1.66 ERA, allowing just 46 hits over 76 innings while striking out 94 batters.
By 2013, a year after Jesus wrapped his pro career in Mexico, a 24-year old Alex was making his big league debut, still as a starting pitcher.
At that point, the Rays rotation was loaded. It featured 27-year old lefty David Price, winner of the AL Cy Young Award the previous season, and 26-year old righty Jeremy Hellickson, the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year.
Youngsters Matt MooreAlex CobbChris ArcherDrew SmylyNate Karns and Jake Odorizzi were all aged 25 or younger. All had either debuted in Major League Baseball or were knocking on the door.
Colome would receive three starts in the 2014 season, but the Rays brain trust was already contemplating a switch to the bullpen. His two relief outings that year, however, yielded poor results. Colome surrendered six earned runs on seven hits over five innings.
On May 1, 2015, Colome was promoted again to Tampa, and immediately inserted into the Rays rotation. He received 13 starts over the next two months, putting together a 3-4 record with a 4.70 ERA. He allowed 73 hits over 69 innings with just a 44/24 K:BB ratio.

SWITCH TO THE BULLPEN CLICKS

With Archer, Odorizzi, Karns, Moore, and Smyly, as well as 25-year old Erasmo Ramirez around to handle the starting load, it was again decided to switch Colome to the bullpen. Again he struggled over his first couple of outings.
But then something clicked. From July 17 through the end of the 2015 season, Colome made 28 relief appearances, allowing just 30 hits over 37.1 innings with a 2.17 ERA. He struck out 42 batters and walked just seven in that time, allowing just a .229 Batting Average Against.
Colome had found the role that would prove to be his meal ticket. The following year of 2016 saw Colome become a member of the American League All-Star Team for the first time.
Taking over as the Rays closer in mid-April, he would register 37 Saves with a 1.91 ERA over 57 games that year. He also had an overpowering 71/15 K:BB ratio over 56.2 innings in which he allowed just 43 hits.
In the spring, Colome was part of the Dominican bullpen during the World Baseball Classic. He made five appearances, allowing two runs on two hits over 4.1 innings while striking out five.
This year has been another successful one out of the Rays pen for the now 28-year old. His 43 Saves lead the AL by a wide margin. His ERA is up at 3.02, and his K/9 has dropped from last year’s 11.3 to the 8.0 mark this season. But much of that comes from a poor late-June, early July stretch.
Since July 6, Colome has saved 21 games over 25 appearances. He has surrendered just four earned runs in 25.1 innings pitched, for a 1.42 ERA. His Batting Average Against is a miniscule .187 in that time, and he has 22/6 K:BB mark.

FUTURE BRIGHT FOR RAYS AND THEIR CLOSER

Colome is likely about to realize the fruits of his successful transition to the closer role. After making just over a half-million dollars in each of the last three seasons, he will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this coming off-season.
Rays manager Kevin Cash is happy to have Colome to turn to at the end of games when Tampa has a lead.
“He’s a special player,” Cash said recently per Marc Topkin for the Tampa Bay Times
“What he does to close out ballgames, whether it’s 7-8-9 (hitters) or the teeth of the lineup, the way he buys into whatever we ask him to do makes it really easy to manage guys like that. That team-first concept, he really sets a tone. The way we used him early in the year (over multiple innings), there aren’t many closers that are too keen on that idea. Alex was, what do I need to do. I’m glad he’s having the season he’s having.”

The Rays were in playoff contention for much of this season. Despite playing poorly since early August, they remained in the AL Wildcard race until recently. Tampa Bay hasn’t been to the postseason since 2013. Colome’s development as a reliable closer is one more piece to their future contending puzzle.

Rays of Hope During Hot Spring in Tampa Bay

To say that the 2016 season was rough for the Tampa Bay Rays and their fans would be an understatement. The club’s 68-94 last place finish in the AL East was their worst in nearly a decade.
From 2008, the year that a talented, young Rays club won the franchise lone American League pennant, through 2013, Tampa Bay won 90 or more games in five of six seasons.
But it has now been three straight losing campaigns in west-central Florida. And most prognosticators had the team again finishing at the bottom of the standings.
But the Rays are off to an encouraging 9-9 start here in the early weeks of the 2017 season. It hasn’t been any one particular thing either.
Under third year manager Kevin Cash, there has been real improvement across all facets of the game. Those improvements added up to a winning record after the Rays swept the Detroit Tigers earlier this week for the first time since 2010. A loss last night to Houston dropped the club back to the .500 mark.

LONGO GETTING HELP ACROSS THE LINEUP

During their glory years, the most important player in the everyday lineup was third baseman Evan Longoria. Now a 31-year old veteran, Longo is still on board, and still a major offensive threat. The three-time AL All-Star has a half-dozen extra-base hits, including three home runs, and has driven in 10 runs.
Right fielder Steven Souza also has three homers. The 28-year old leads the club with 15 RBI and a .343/.429/.582 slash line.
The other two outfield positions feature speed to burn. In left field, Mallex Smith has taken over. The 24-year old was flipped back in January from the Atlanta Braves to the Seattle Mariners, who then shipped him to Tampa for lefty pitcher Drew Smyly.
Smith has gotten off solidly with a .273 average and .360 on-base percentage. He is second on the club with three stolen bases, but has missed the last eight games with a hamstring strain. He has been running lightly, and the club hopes to get him back soon.
Leading the Rays in swipes is Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who has four. The 27-year old is hitting .294 with a .385 OBP thus far in 2017.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the everyday lineup has been first baseman Logan Morrison. Once a highly rated prospect in the Marlins organization, Morrison has mostly disappointed over his first seven seasons.
But now in his second year in Tampa, the 29-year old is tied with DH Corey Dickerson for the team lead with four home runs. Morrison is also second on the team with a dozen RBI. For his part, Dickerson is hitting for a .317/.358/.603 slash.

RAYS PITCHING HAS ALSO BEEN STRONG

On the mound, 28-year old Chris Archer has stepped up to become a legitimate ace after helping lead the U.S. to a World Baseball Classic championship in March.
Archer is 2-0 with a 1.71 FIP and 117 ERA+ mark. Over his first four starts, Archer has allowed 25 hits in 25.1 innings with a 27/8 K:BB mark.
Alex Cobb appears to finally be all the way back from Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss the entire 2015 season and most of last year. Cobb has an 18/4 K:BB across his first 24 innings, and three of his four starts have been encouraging.
24-year old Blake Snell had a strong rookie campaign a year ago, and the lefty is off to another solid start. He has allowed just 12 hits over his first 16.1 innings across three starts.
Matt Andriese was supposed to be the big question mark in the rotation as the fifth starter. But thus far, the 27-year old has done his part. Andriese has a 14/5 K:BB in allowing 16 hits over 16 innings in his three starts.
Jake Odorizzi was supposed to be the breakout pitcher in the rotation. But the 27-year old is currently wrapping up a stint on the 10-day DL with a hamstring issue.
Odorizzi is due to throw a bullpen session on Saturday, and the Rays hope to have the talented right-hander back soon. he did get on the mound for three starts in which he allowed just 10 hits over 13 innings.
Alex Colome took over as the closer a year ago. The now 28-year old is off to a strong start as well. He has allowed just two hits over six innings thus far. He also has not walked a batter across his first half-dozen appearances, and has registered three saves.
The bullpen setting up Colome has been mostly effective as well. Erasmo RamirezTommy Hunter, and Jumbo Diaz have led the way, with Ramirez stepping into the rotation to fill-in while Odorizzi recovers.

RETURNING PLAYERS COULD BOOST CLUB FURTHER

Management likes what it sees of the renewed fight in their ball club. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times recently quoted general manager Erik Neander:
“The makeup and chemistry is showing signs of being a real strength. There is a chip, an edge, a selflessness, a greater purpose behind how these guys compete together. … It’s an easy group to root for.”
Tampa should get better in the coming weeks. Odorizzi could be back on the mound and Smith back in the lineup soon. The Rays are also looking forward to the return of shortstop Matt Duffy, who had off-season surgery on his left heel. Duffy is slowly progressing, and should be back in May.
The Rays have fashioned their .500 start thanks largely to a strong home mark. The team is 8-3 at the sparsely populate Trop, while just 1-6 on the road. They’ll have to figure those road woes out in a hurry if they expect to stay competitive, as the club heads out on an eight-game road trip next week.
While it is way too early to get overly excited about the team possibly contending this season, the start has been fun. Tampa is showing that they can beat you a number of ways. Now it’s up to Cash and his players to keep things moving forward as the warm feelings of spring turn into a long, hot summer.