Alex Colome Ready To Close For White Sox

With a career 3.12 ERA, Colome will be counted on in the late innings.

Bruce Levine
December 06, 2018 - 1:59 pm
Reliever Alex Colome

Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) A reliever with a strong resume in the closer's role will be available for White manager Rick Renteria to call upon in 2019.

Chicago acquired Alex Colome from Seattle last week with the idea that he will be a central figure in handling the late-inning duties that were so difficult for the 2018 White Sox's bullpen to manage. Colome hasn't been tabbed the team's closer yet, as Renteria will choose between him and veteran Nate Jones, but either way, the White Sox envision their bullpen being vastly improved in 2019. 

The White Sox's bullpen registered a 4.49 ERA in 2018, which ranked 11th in the American League. Colome, who turns 30 in late December, brings a wealth of experience and talent as well, with 96 saves, a 3.12 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and an 8.3 strikeouts-per-innings rate in his career. He had a 3.04 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 70 appearances split between the Rays and Mariners in 2018.

"When I heard I got traded tot he Chicago White Sox, I felt happy," Colome said through White Sox translator Billy Russo on Thursday. "I know this is a young team that has a lot of energy that is learning to be a competitive team and vie for a playoff spot for years to come. I was excited when the trade happened to Chicago. If anyone asks me for advice, I am happy to try and help." 

Colome was traded from Tampa Bay to Seattle in late May. Being dealt twice in a calendar year was a bit of a shock, Colome admitted.

"I wasn't expecting that," Colome said of the Mariners' fire sale after they won 89 games. "That was definitely a big surprise for me, because when I got traded to the Mariners, I was expecting to stay there for a long time. We had a strong core of players there. When I started seeing all the trades, I was really surprised me. I certainly wasn't expecting that."

Colome was the setup man for the Mariners, who had an All-Star closer in Edwin Diaz. In 2018, Colome became the first player in MLB history to record at least 10 saves and 30 holds in a season.

As a young pitcher in Tampa Bay's system, Colome was influenced by veteran reliever Fernando Rodney, a fellow Dominican Republic native. 

"Even now in the offseason, I keep in touch with Rodney," Colome said. "He always is calling me and chatting about baseball. He has always taught me things and given me tips on how to improve. He had a big influence on me and the mental part of how to approach hitters. He talked about when it is the best time to throw my off-speed pitches. That helped me a lot learn how to pitch"

Colome hasn't talked with Renteria yet but knows a few White Sox players.

"I know Jose Abreu and have talked with him at times over the last few years on the field," Colome said. "I am excited to be a part of this team and ready to get to know all of the guys."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.​