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Continued: MLB Insider: Thielbar's success story proof that Twins, Saints can co-exist

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 25, 2013 - 5:47 PM

The former Cy Young and MVP winner has lost two of his past three games, hasn’t lasted more than five innings in a start since May 5, gave up a seven-run inning to the Rangers, and owns an ERA (3.66) that’s more than a run higher than last year (2.64).
 
You’re never too old


Chris Colabello last week became the fifth-oldest rookie in Twins history, and he has to be hoping he has a longer career than the four older than him. Here’s the list (age is on day of debut):


1. Minnie Mendoza, 36 years, 144 days: The Cuban utility infielder surprised the Twins in 1970 by earning a roster spot in spring training, but once the season began, he didn’t hit. After going 2-for-16 in 16 games as a pinch-hitter, third baseman and second baseman, he was gone by early June.


2. Hank Izquierdo, 36 years, 142 days: Summoned when the Twins needed a third catcher down the stretch of the 1967 pennant race, Izquierdo, another Cuban, got into 16 games in August and September, batting .269 with two doubles. But he never played in the majors again.


3. Chris Heintz, 31 years, 35 days: Another spare catcher, he spent part of three years in the Twins bullpen, appearing in a total of 34 games from 2005-07. Heintz batted .232, and while he had batting-practice power, he never homered in a game.


4. Randy Ruiz, 30 years, 287 days: After spending a half-dozen seasons in the Phillies organization, including a season as International League MVP and another season under suspension, Ruiz got into 22 games as the Twins’ designated hitter in 2008, and hit first career home run. He signed with the Blue Jays and batted .313 with 10 homers the following year but was released after 13 games in 2011.


5. Chris Colabello, 29 years, 210 days: He spent seven seasons in the independent Can-Am League before signing with the Twins in 2012. After playing well for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic, Colabello bashed 12 home runs in six weeks at Class AAA, earning a call-up. He made his debut in right field on Wednesday.

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  • Caleb Thielbar, the first St. Paul Saints player ever signed by the Twins, made his major league debut last week in Atlanta. He threw two innings of shutout relief.

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