I know you, your Cole De Vries. What are you doing here?
Cole De Vries is pitching tonight for the Twins. His outing is starting to fell apart. This is his 3rd career start. On May 24th, Cole made his major league debut for the Twins. If you know anything about him, you might not be that surprised that he gave up 6 runs (3 earned) in 5 innings. His combined 32-42 record with a 4.01 ERA, 1.388 WHIP in 6 minor league seasons didn’t exactly scream dominant major league pitcher. He followed that up just 2 hits and no runs in 5 innings in his second start. He did walk 5 however. He is a major leaguer right now!
If someone asked me before last season if Cole would ever be a major league player, I would’ve said, “no chance in hell”. In 2010, as a 25 year old in AA-AAA, Cole went a combined 1-8 with a 5.79 ERA, though his K rate jumped to 8.5 per 9 up from 5.9 the year before. In 2009, he wasn’t much better. He was 7-14 with a 4.84 ERA in AA. He basically had all of the earmarks of organizational filler.
This is not to say I don’t root for the guy. I saw him pitch in Binghamton in 2009 and I spent a good deal of the game talking to his dad. His dad was a really cool guy and he sought me out, guess there aren’t a lot of people wearing Twins gear at a AA Mets game. We talked about Cole’s career, our common bond as Minnesota folks and University of Minnesota alums. His dad even revealed what he’d heard about AA stadiums (Cole had just been promoted) and that Binghamton wasn’t as bad as he’d heard. His dad took a lot of pictures. Oh yeah, Cole also had a great game. He went 7 strong, giving up 7 hits, 1 earned run with 0 BBs and 4 K’s. A good night for the De Vries family.
The Twins poor pitching and injuries have caused them call up Scott Diamond and PJ Walters and now De Vries. None with a high ceiling, but all three have nice stories. In fact, all three guys currently have better ERAs than the 5 guys the Twins started the season with.
Baseball is about wins and losses, but it’s also about people. Baseball is about stories. Every baseball fan comes to baseball and takes from baseball different things. I know Cole De Vries as a Twins starting pitcher, has more to do with the Twins not being a good team than it does Cole De Vries being a good pitcher, but I don’t care. The Twins suck this year. This year is about finding the good things. A healthy Mauer and Morneau, Willingham hitting bombs, Sano hitting bombs and guys like Cole De Vries. I like Cole’s story and he might just have enough talent to stick on a major league club or maybe he doesn’t.
It comes down to this. Cole, I am very happy for you, I wasn’t expecting you but I hope you beat the odds. You’ve already beaten some of them.
* pic source: star tribune