Chris Colabello

Chris Colabello

Colabello with the Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
First baseman / Outfielder
Born: (1983-10-24) October 24, 1983
Framingham, Massachusetts
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 22, 2013, for the Minnesota Twins
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Batting average .259
Hits 187
Home runs 28
Runs batted in 111

Christopher Adrian Colabello (born October 24, 1983) is an Italian-American professional baseball first baseman and outfielder in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He has played in Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins and Blue Jays, after playing seven seasons in independent baseball.[1]

Early life and career

Born in Framingham, Massachusetts, Colabello grew up in Rimini, Italy. His mother, Silvanna, was born in Rimini, and his father, Lou, played baseball in Italy for seven years, later pitching in the 1984 Olympics.[2] The family moved back to Massachusetts in 1991.[3] Colabello graduated from Milford High School in Milford, Massachusetts.[4] He then attended NCAA Division II Assumption College, but was not drafted by an MLB team.[5]

Professional career

Independent baseball

Prior to joining the Twins organization in 2012, he played seven seasons in the independent Can-Am League for the Worcester Tornadoes (2005–2011) and Nashua Pride (part of 2007).[6]

Minor leagues

In 2012, his first season of affiliated baseball, Colabello batted .284 with 19 home runs and 98 runs batted in (RBI) for the New Britain Rock Cats of the Double-A Eastern League. He started the 2013 season with the Rochester Red Wings of the Triple-A International League, hitting .358 with 12 home runs in 46 games before being promoted to Minnesota.[6]

Minnesota Twins

2013 season

On May 22, 2013, the Twins promoted Colabello to the major leagues and he made his debut that day.[7] He was called up after Trevor Plouffe suffered a concussion and was placed on the 7-day disabled list. Colabello went 1-for-11 and was optioned on May 29. He was called back up on May 30 after a strained left calf forced Plouffe to the 15-day disabled list.[8] Colabello was named the International League Most Valuable Player at the end of the minor league season, as well as the Rookie of the Year.[9]

After his 2013 season, Colabello garnered significant interest from several teams in the Korea Baseball Organization, including a reported $1 million contract offer from the LG Twins (with a similar $1 million buyout going to the Minnesota Twins). On December 21, Colabello announced that he would not pursue the opportunity to play overseas, saying "Going to Korea would mean giving up the dream of being a big-leaguer".[10]

Colabello played for the Italy National Team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.[11]

2014 season

In 2014, Colabello made the Twins starting lineup out of the gate, rotating between outfield, first base, and designated hitter. He had a dazzling start to the season, batting .308 with 3 home runs, and 27 RBIs through his first 23 games.

On April 26, Colabello surpassed Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett's Twins franchise record of 26 RBIs in the month of April. It was a club record that stood for 20 years.[12]

His hot start soon cooled off, as Colabello hit .125 in May and was sent down to the minors by the end of the month. He was recalled by the Twins for July and early August, but did not regain his batting stroke, finishing the season at .229.

Colabello during the 2015 season

Toronto Blue Jays

2015 season

On December 8, 2014, Colabello was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.[13][14] They designated him for assignment on February 4, 2015,[15] and he was outrighted to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons on February 11.[16] Colabello batted .337 with 5 home runs and 18 RBI in April 2015, and was named the International League Player of the Month.[17] On May 5, Colabello's contract was purchased by the Blue Jays.[18][19] In his second game with the Blue Jays, Colabello recorded his first career four-hit game.[20] On May 29, Colabello played his first game, against the Minnesota Twins. In the ninth inning, he hit a tiebreaking two-run home run off closer Glen Perkins to help the Blue Jays win 6–4.[21] Colabello continued his excellent batting on June 7, when he helped the Blue Jays sweep the Houston Astros by hitting a walk-off two-run single. With the hit, he also extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 games.[22] He hit his first career triple on October 2.[23]

Colabello finished the 2015 regular season with career-highs in nearly every statistical category, including batting average (.321), hits (107), home runs (15), RBI (54), and on-base plus slugging (.886).[24] He hit a solo home run in Game 5 of the 2015 American League Championship Series, which helped the Blue Jays top the Kansas City Royals on October 21 and force a Game 6.[25]

2016 season

On April 22, 2016, Colabello was suspended 80 games without pay for testing positive on performance enhancing drugs on March 13. At the time of his suspension, he was hitting .069 (2-for-29) in 10 games.[26] In response to the suspension, Colabello released the following statement:

On March 13, I got one of the scariest and most definitely the least expected calls of my entire life. I was informed by the Players Association that a banned substance was found in my urine. I have spent every waking moment since that day trying to find an answer as to why or how? The only thing I know is that I would never compromise the integrity of the game of baseball. I love this game too much! I care too deeply about it. I am saddened more for the impact this will have on my teammates, the organization and the fans of the Toronto Blue Jays. I hope that before anyone passes judgement on me they can take a look at the man that I am, and everything that I have done to get to where I am in my career.[27]

On July 13, Colabello was assigned to the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays for a rehab assignment.[28] After rehab, he was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons for the remainder of the 2016 season. In 40 games with the Bisons, Colabello hit .180 with five home runs and 11 RBI.[6] On November 22, it was announced that Colabello would play for Italy at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.[29] On December 2, 2016, Colabello was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo after clearing waivers.[30]


  1. Bollinger, Rhett (February 27, 2013). "Colabello taking road less travelled to make Twins". Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  2. Zwolinski, Mark (May 6, 2015). "The long road is a happy road for Jays' Colabello". Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  3. Mussoni, Massimiliano (July 30, 2007). "Chris Colabello a un passo dai Pirati". (in Italian). Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  4. "Milford's Chris Colabello Debuts in Major League Baseball". Milford, Massachusetts Patch. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  5. Martinelle, Lorraine U. "Assumption Grad Chris Colabello Promoted to Minnesota Twins". Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 "Chris Colabello Minor League Statistics & History". Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  7. "Twins add Colabello, put Plouffe on DL". Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  8. "One day after exiting DL, Plouffe back on it". Minnesota Twins. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  9. Wetmore, Derek (August 27, 2013). "Chris Colabello named International League MVP and Rookie of the Year". Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  10. "Minnesota Twins: Chris Colabello draws interest from Korean-league teams". Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  11. "World Baseball Classic: Italy: Team – Italy". World Baseball Classic. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  12. "RBI leader Colabello gives Mauer a rest at first". Minnesota Twins. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  13. Chisholm, Gregor (December 8, 2014). "Blue Jays pluck Colabello off waivers from Twins". Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  14. Simmons, Jeff (December 8, 2014). "Blue Jays claim Colabello off waivers from Twins". Sportsnet. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  15. "Blue Jays trade LHP prospect Ybarra to Rockies". Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  16. Chisholm, Gregor (February 11, 2015). "Blue Jays outright Colabello to Buffalo". Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  17. Lott, John (May 6, 2015). "Toronto Blue Jays call-up Chris Colabello happy to have a major league job, however brief, after nomadic career". Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  18. Todd, Jeff (May 5, 2015). "Blue Jays Designate Jayson Aquino". Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  19. Davidi, Shi (May 5, 2015). "Blue Jays promote Colabello, send Diaz to minors". Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  20. "Martin, Colabello lead Jays' offence past Yankees". Sportsnet. May 6, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  21. "Bats support Buehrle as Blue Jays rally past Twins". Sportsnet. May 29, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  22. "Late rally drives Blue Jays to sweep of Astros". Sportsnet. June 7, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  23. Griffin, Richard (October 2, 2015). "Buehrle two innings shy of 200 as Blue Jays beat Rays: Griffin". Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  24. "Chris Colabello Statistics and History". Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  25. Yahoo! Sports
  26. Adler, David (April 22, 2016). "Blue Jays' Colabello suspended 80 games". Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  27. "MLB suspends Blue jays' Chris Colabello 80 games". Canadian Press. April 22, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  28. Zwolinski, Mark (July 13, 2016). "Blue Jays' Chris Colabello to begin comeback Wednesday". Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  29. Holmyard, Braydon (November 22, 2016). "Chris Colabello to play for Team Italy at World Baseball Classic". Sportsnet. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  30. "Blue Jays outright Chris Colabello, Andy Burns off 40-man roster". Sportsnet. December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.

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