Flores ready for new start with Twins

Flores ready for new start with Twins

ARLINGTON -- Randy Flores has not pitched in a game since Aug. 17, a few days before he was designated for assignment by the Rockies. But although Flores didn't know where his job might take him next, he made sure that he was ready to pitch whenever that time came.

Flores, 35, said that he stayed in Denver after he was designated on Friday and he threw a couple of times at Coors Field during the week. When he wasn't able to go to the field or find anyone to play catch with him, he headed to a Safeway grocery store near his home to throw against the loading docks.

"I got stopped by a security guard," Flores said with a laugh. "He let me finish after a few more throws before he kicked me out."

Flores wasn't sure where he might be headed after he was designated by the Rockies, but he was certainly glad to learn the news on Wednesday that the Twins had claimed him and he was headed to pitch for a team in a pennant race. After arriving in Texas late on Wednesday night, he was available out of the 'pen for the Twins in their series finale against the Rangers.

"It was a bit of a whirlwind," Flores said. "I found out yesterday afternoon and was on a plane last night. Any time you are coming into a situation like this you do not take it for granted."

Flores has a history of pitching in a left-handed specialist role, and he also has experience pitching in pennant races as well. He was a member of the 2006 Cardinals team that won the World Series.

Asked if that experience will help him now that he's with the Twins as they chase another American League Central title, Flores said he hopes that is the case.

"It's not overhyped, there is nothing better than the playoffs," Flores said. "There is nothing better than winning it all. I consider myself very thankful to pitch in postseason chases and postseasons and hope to draw on that experience this next month."

In his eight-year career, Flores is 11-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 339 games, including three starts. The majority of that experience has come in the National League. Flores' only stint in the AL occurred with the Rangers back in 2002.

With Glen Perkins being the only other left-hander in the Twins bullpen, Flores should get plenty of opportunities to pitch. He is having one of the better seasons of his career, going 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA in 47 games for Colorado this season.

"This game tends to surprise you sometimes," Flores said. "I'm just really appreciative of being in this locker room."