Twins sign Collins, Nicolino to Minor League deals

Courtesy of RedWingsBaseball.com

ROCHESTER, NY – The Minnesota Twins have signed left-handed pitchers Tim Collins and Justin Nicolino to minor league contracts, Twins Director of Minor League Operations Jeremy Zoll announced.

Collins, 29, spent 2018 between the Washington Nationals and Triple-A Syracuse, appearing in 68 combined games. He didn’t factor in a decision while pitching to a 4.37 ERA (11 ER, 22.2 IP) with 23 hits, five homers, 12 walks and 21 strikeouts in 38 MLB appearances and was 2-4 with a 3.94 ERA (14 ER, 32.0 IP) at Triple-A. Collins was part a seven-inning combined no-hitter for Syracuse in game one on April 18 vs. Indianapolis, throwing a scoreless 6th frame with one walk and two strikeouts, as the Chiefs recorded their first no-no since 2000. The left-hander, who was born in Worcester, MA, missed all of 2015 after undergoing “Tommy John” surgery in mid-March and all of 2016 after a second “Tommy John” surgery in late March of that season. He was originally signed by Toronto as a non-drafted free agent on July 27, 2007 and appeared in 228 games with the Kansas City Royals from 2011-14. Collins was traded twice in 2010: by the Blue Jays with Alex Gonzalez and Tyler Pastornicky to Atlanta for Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes on July 14 and by the Braves with Gregor Blanco and Jesse Chavez to Kansas City for Rick Ankiel and Kyle Fransworth on July 31.

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Nicolino, 27, spent most of 2018 spring training with Miami but was claimed off waivers by Cincinnati on March 25 and later outrighted to Triple-A Louisville. He went 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA (70 ER, 134.1 IP) with 161 hits, 76 total runs, 13 homers, six hit batters, 35 walks and 86 strikeouts in 25 games (24 starts) for the Bats. The left-hander was the Marlins Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Southern League Pitcher of the Year in 2014 after helping Double-A Jacksonville win the Southern League Championship. He was also named Florida State League Pitcher of the Year in 2013 with Single-A Jupiter. Nicolino, who was born in Orlando, FL, was originally selected by Toronto in the second round of the 2010 Draft out of University High School (FL). He was acquired by Miami with Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick and Jeff Mathis from the Blue Jays for Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio and cash considerations on November 19, 2012.

Minnesota will announce all minor league signings that receive an invite to spring training at a later date.

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