Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
For the past several years now, the Tampa Bay Rays have produced a bevy of great young arms. David Price, Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis and Chris Archer have all come out of the Rays' system.
There's another young arm who has also impressed early this season—Alex Colome.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, Colome was given all the time he needed by the Rays' great development staff. Their efforts paid off, as Colome excelled in both Double-A and Triple-A ball last year, posting a 3.44 ERA in 17 starts with an 8.8 K/9 rate.
Command is still a bit of an issue for the 24-year-old Dominican. In 14 starts this year for the Durham Bulls, Colome has a 3.07 ERA but a 3.7 BB/9 rate.
Still, the Rays have been thrilled with the progress, and he made his MLB debut on May 30 against the Miami Marlins.
Colome picked up the victory in his first start, allowing just one unearned run on five hits in 5.2 innings while walking just two and striking out seven. He followed up with another start last week against the New York Yankees, allowing three runs—none earned—on five hits in 4.1 innings, picking up a no-decision.
Control issues bit Colome in that start, however, issuing five walks against just three strikeouts.
On Friday, Colome faced the Detroit Tigers, and he received a lesson from the great Miguel Cabrera. The reigning MVP and Triple Crown winner blasted two Colome mistake pitches for home runs, putting Tampa Bay in an early hole.
It was the home runs that did Colome in on this night—he departed after six innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Yet, his 2.25 ERA is still pretty darned good. He certainly appears to be a keeper.
There's a lot to like about Colome's array of pitches, and he's not afraid to use them. No doubt that manager Joe Maddon will talk to him about attacking hitters and getting ahead of the count.