Q&A with Twins Reliever Randy Flores


“Well traveled” is a fitting adjective for Randy Flores. The Twins reliever began his professional career in the Yankees organization back in 1997, spent five years toiling on the farm, was shipped to Texas in 2002 where he made his major league debut and has spent the last 8 years with the Rangers, Rockies and Cardinals - with extended stints in the big leagues and minors.

During his professional odyssey, Flores has appeared in 272 minor league games, been a contributing member of a World Series winner and - at one time - considered giving up on the game. The 35-year-old left-handed specialist and I talked about all of this and more last week.

DZ: You’ve been with the Twins roughly a week, what are your impressions so far?

FLORES: It’s a great clubhouse, a great group of guys (and) the expectation is to win everyday. It’s fun to be a part of.

DZ: Could you just talk about the process, how you ended up here?

FLORES: I found out last Wednesday (August 25) about noon and was on a plane Wednesday night. It was just kind of a whirlwind. Once I found out I was claimed, I was on the team the next day.

DZ: You were with the Cardinals in ‘06 when they won the World Series - got into the action - could you talk about that team? You guys didn’t really finish the regular season well and then caught fire (in the playoffs).

FLORES: It was an unbelievable lifetime experience in that postseason - to be a part of it to pitch well in it is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. That being said - you are right - the season didn’t end well, but once you get into the playoffs, typically whoever plays the best wins and we really caught fire and played well.

DZ: During your career, you’ve spent a lot of time in the minor leagues, did that help you appreciate (the experience) more?

FLORES: Definitely. All of that time in the minor leagues allows you to appreciate everyday in the big leagues. Not everyone is a first rounder and is destined for a long career in the big leagues. Some get there a different way - a different path. I am very grateful to put on a big league uniform. It is the culmination of a lot of years of sacrifice and work.

DZ: Was there anytime in that whole span where you thought about maybe trying something else?

FLORES: Definitely. Just before I got called up with St. Louis in 2004, I was pitching really, really well between the bullpen and the starting rotation (at Triple A) and I did not see an opportunity presenting itself and was getting a little frustrated and was - I thought maybe was at a point where I had done everything could and so it would be time to move on. Lo and behold, that thought crept in there and I was called up within a week of that. That was definitely a breath of fresh air and a re-motivation and I’ve carried that through until now.

DZ: Was there anyone you went to that told you to keep going?

FLORES: My parents were obviously my biggest source of encouragement through all of my endeavors. Those years in the minors where I would come back home and live with them, they would tell me to keep chasing it, keep pursuing my dream - the rest of my life was there to not have baseball be a part of it. And that specific season - 2004 - I was engaged to my then wife and she also committed to us giving this a shot as long as it took until I felt that it was time to move on.

DZ: You also have a brother Ron who pitched in the big leagues. What is he up to now?

FLORES: My brother Ron is doing great. He is in Las Vegas. He is a youth pastor at my dad’s church in Las Vegas and also works in the insurance business and he is moving on to another phase in his life and doing great.

DZ: One last thing, I don’t know if you know this or not, but you and Brian Fuentes were born about a week apart in California and then 35 years later, you came to the Twins in the same week. I thought that was kind of interesting.

FLORES: No way. You know, I played with him in 2002 in the Colorado Rockies organization and had a great impression of him then and he’s really a big asset and addition to this team. It’s going to be fun to play with him again.

See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players:

August 23: Matt Capps
August 19: Brian Duensing
July 29: Jesse Crain
July 23: Ron Mahay
July 21: Danny Valencia
July 11: Michael Cuddyer
July 8: Jason Repko
July 5: Nick Punto
June 12: Jason Kubel
June 9: Drew Butera
May 11: Denard Span
April 25: Justin Morneau
April 22: Alex Burnett
April 21: Mike Redmond
April 16: J.J. Hardy

One Response to “Q&A with Twins Reliever Randy Flores”

  1. Q&A with Twins Reliever Brian Fuentes » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] 5: Randy Flores August 23: Matt Capps August 19: Brian Duensing July 29: Jesse Crain July 23: Ron Mahay July 21: […]

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