The Twins are bringing back left-handed reliever Danny Coulombe on a minor league deal, according to Betsy Helfand of the St-Paul Pioneer Press. The deal comes with an invite to big league spring training. It’s the fourth straight off-season that Coulombe has inked a minor league deal with the Twins.
Originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 25th round of the 2012 draft, Coulombe made his big league debut in 2014. His time in LA would be short lived, as Coulombe would throw just 12 2/3 innings of 6.23 ERA ball before he was sent to Oakland the following year. Over the next few seasons, he’d establish himself as a regular in the A’s bullpen, pitching 130 2/3 innings of 4.06 ERA ball. The strikeout and walk rates would fluctuate a fair bit during this time, but Coulombe would generally strikeout batters at bit above the league-average rate, while giving up free passes a bit more frequently than league-average.
Coulombe, 33, was released by the A’s at the end of the 2018 season, and wouldn’t appear in the big league again until 2020. That year was the first of three (and now four) successive minor league pacts with the Twins where Coulombe would eventually work his way onto the big league roster. Over those three years in Minnesota, Coulombe has tossed 49 1/3 innings and worked to a 2.92 ERA. Advanced metrics have looked a little less favorably on his work, with his FIP over that time sitting at 3.81.
This past season started well enough for Coulombe, cracking the opening day roster. He worked to a 1.46 ERA across 12 1/3 innings of relief, before hitting the IL with a left hip impingement in early May. He was activated towards the end of the month, but a day after coming off the IL he wound up back there with the same left hip impingement. Coulombe would undergo surgery to repair the labrum, ending his season.
Coulombe throws a low-90s fastball, and mixes in a slider and curveball, as well as a changeup that he introduced this past season. Coulombe has been a quietly effective southpaw for the Twins over the past few seasons, and if he can show he’s fully recovered from surgery in spring training, it certainly stands to reason that he could find himself again contributing to the major league team in 2023.