Colabello's flash in the pan start was derailed by thumb injury


Chris Colabello owns a Minnesota Twins record and he took it from the late, great Kirby Puckett.

This past season, Colabello broke Puckett's record for most RBIs in the month of April. Colabello drove in 27 runs, breaking Puckett's mark of 26 set back in 1994.

"It's quite an honor," Colabello said at the time, via "You start getting mixed in with names like that and you realize how special this game is and how special this opportunity to be here is. It's certainly something I'll remember for a long time."

It might be the only thing worth remembering during his career with the Twins. After breaking Puckett's record he went into a tailspin and wound up back in the minor leagues for all but five more weeks of the season. His fall from grace, as Colabello informed the Worcester Telegram on Wednesday, can be blamed on a thumb injury that he tried to play through.

"Something that happened on April 23 contributed to Colabello's drop off in production. Tampa Bay reliever Grant Balfour jammed him with a fastball, numbing Colabello's right thumb. The thumb hasn't felt right since. The Twins physician told him he had suffered nerve damage and only rest would help, but after taking nearly a decade to reach the major leagues, Colabello tried to play through the pain and numbness. He glued cotton to his batting gloves and tried a thumb protector, but his slump continued."

Colabello, who finished the season with just 39 RBIs, is still bothered by numbness and tingling in his thumb. He plans to meet with a hand specialist this week. But it could be too late.

The Pioneer Press reports that Colabello has acknowledged the possibility that his Twins career could be over. If it is, he could end up playing overseas in a place like Japan or Korea, although his agent said that discussion hasn't taken place yet.

“I don’t like to make excuses,” Colabello told the Telegram. “I chose to play (through his injury) and I’ll deal with the consequences.

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