When Rocco Baldelli thinks of Randy Dobnak, the words "incredible" and "beautiful" come to mind.
The Twins manager wasn't referencing the righthander's Fu Manchu mustache, but rather the remarkable journey that has now earned Dobnak a contract extension.
On Sunday, Dobnak and the Twins agreed to the five-year deal that will be worth at least $9.25 million, a major league source confirmed. It could be worth nearly $30 million if all incentives are reached.
"Randy's made a lot happen in a very short period of time," Baldelli said. "And every way you look at it, he's set up to continue to have success at the major league level. … The ability to turn the ball over, sink the ball but also command his pitches very well. He's shown great feel for his offspeed stuff, his slider is ever-improving, and we consider it a weapon."
Dobnak, 26, will be the team's sixth starter, so he will start this season in the bullpen. He has enjoyed a quick rise through the ranks since going undrafted from West Virginia's Alderson Broaddus.
The Twins signed him to a minor league contract in 2017 for $500, where he notably worked as an Uber driver to make extra money. He made his major league debut in 2019, making a playoff start against the Yankees, and in 2020, he was 6-4 with a 4.05 ERA.
"This guy has major league-caliber stuff," Baldelli said. "He brings a different look to the mound.
"And I don't mean with the facial hair."
Well, not just with the facial hair, at least.
Even Baldelli couldn't resist commenting on Willian Astudillo's third-inning play during the 8-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Not because of Astudillo's double, but for the theatrics that came at the end of it.
"I heard we have a new Astudillo Twitter clip that's probably floating around," Baldelli said at the end of his postgame video chat, likely smirking behind the face mask.
The utility player, who is batting .361 this spring, reached second base on a fly ball to right field, sprinting as fast as his stocky 5-9 frame could manage. His helmet flew off somewhere around first base, his blond-tinted ponytail whipping behind him as he slid.
At the same time, Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts was trying to swing his arm around for the tag while Astudillo arched his body away and kept a toe stretched to touch the bag.
A celebratory air-punch followed Astudillo's flailing acrobatics. But the funniest moment was the Venezuelan's look of pure ferocity, aimed about 5 inches up to reach Bogaerts' 6-1 level.