Tag: Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey Aim to Accelerate Braves’ Promising Rebuild

Bartolo Colon was a 20-year-old kid in 1994, already a promising prospect but too young and raw to help a Cleveland Indians team that was ready to win.

A general manager named John Hart signed a soon-to-be 40-year-old pitcher named Dennis Martinez. A year later, with Martinez and 36-year-old Orel Hershiser in the rotation, the Indians were playing the Atlanta Braves in the World Series.

Maybe you’ve forgotten, but it seems John Hart hasn’t.

He’s the president of baseball operations for the Braves now, with a bunch of promising young pitching prospects not yet ready to support a rapidly improving lineup. And just as he signed Martinez, Jack Morris and Hershiser two decades ago in Cleveland, his Braves have signed 42-year-old R.A. Dickey and the now-43-year-old Colon the last two days.

Colon agreed to terms on a one-year, $12.5 million contract Friday, as first reported by Mark Bowman of MLB.com. While he and Dickey may not be joining a Braves team ready to return to the World Series, they should push the Braves another step towards respectability—and maybe even towards contention.

“It’s a pretty good lineup we’re running out there,” manager Brian Snitker said during a three-game sweep in New York in September. “When we pitch, we win. We’re a pretty good team when we pitch.”

The Braves aren’t the Indians of the mid-’90s, but they led the major leagues in runs scored for the final month of the season. They have an established star in Freddie Freeman and a star on the rise in shortstop Dansby Swanson.

The rebuilding program begun by Hart and general manager John Coppolella looks promising, much more than it did a year ago at this time. The Braves move into their new ballpark in April, and even if it turns out they’re not ready to compete with the Mets and Washington Nationals at the top of the National League East, they should at least be fun to watch.

Colon, of course, became one of the game’s best characters during his three seasons with the Mets. He pitched, fielded and even hit, with a memorable home run last May in San Diego.

The Braves would settle for seeing him make the 33 starts and pitch the 191.2 innings he did for the Mets in 2016. They’d hope for close to the same from Dickey, who won a Cy Young Award with the Mets in 2012 and spent the last four seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.

As Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted, Dickey’s 195 starts over the last six years are tied for the sixth-most in the major leagues, while Colon’s 175 starts over that span rank 19th.

Another Sherman tweet:

He’s right. The Braves aren’t done. They could still improve a rotation that for now includes ace Julio Teheran, Colon, Dickey and Mike Foltynewicz, with one spot open. They could still improve their lineup, possibly with a trade to bring back catcher Brian McCann from the New York Yankees.

And they still figure to be significantly better in 2018 and beyond, with Swanson set to be joined by Ozzie Albies in the middle of the infield and with young pitching on the way.

Five of the six Braves who made 10 or more starts in 2016 are 25 or younger. Eight of the top 12 Braves minor league prospects, as ranked by MLB.com, are pitchers.

The issue Hart and Coppolella faced was too many of those guys who started games this past year weren’t ready, and too many of those top prospects aren’t yet ready to advance.

“We’re looking for guys to suck up innings so that we don’t have to kill our bullpen,” Coppolella told reporters, including MLB.com‘s Bowman, when he announced the Dickey signing. “We’ve been real transparent about what it is we want to do: add guys that can eat innings on short-term deals.”

Short-term deals were important, because the Braves believe some of those prospects will be ready to contribute soon. Eating innings was important, because the Braves had 42 games in 2016 where their starter didn’t finish the fifth.

Realistically, Colon and Dickey are place-holders, two aging pitchers who make the Braves more presentable while a young team gets better around them.

But who knows? Maybe what the Braves hitters did in September was a sign of what they can do next summer. Maybe the two old former Cy Young winners can do something like those former Cy Young winners Hart signed all those years ago in Cleveland.

In 1995, the year he turned 41, Martinez won 12 games with a 3.08 ERA. He went on to pitch until he was 44, retiring after a final season with the Braves. He finished with 245 wins, the most by a pitcher born in Latin America.

Colon, born in the Dominican Republic, has 233 wins. He ranks third for now, behind Martinez (born in Nicaragua) and Juan Marichal (born in the Dominican), who has 243.

If he stays healthy, the Braves can give him enough starts and probably enough runs to chase the record. He and Dickey can give their rebuilding program a boost.

John Hart has seen it happen before.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

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Bartolo Colon to Braves: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Bartolo Colon will pitch again in 2017 after the Atlanta Braves reportedly signed him to a free-agent contract Friday. 

Mark Bowman of MLB.com first reported word of the agreement. Robert Murray of FanRag Sports confirmed the report. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports passed along the financial details, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted there is not an option attached.

Rosenthal also reported another detail about Colon’s upcoming salary:

This comes after the 43-year-old Colon helped anchor the New York Mets staff in 2016 on the way to the postseason even though they lost Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz to season-ending injuries.

Colon appeared in 34 games in 2016, which tied a career-high mark (2001, 2003 and 2004). He finished the year with a 3.43 ERA and 1.21 WHIP and reached his fourth All-Star Game.

The right-hander was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league in his prime. He won the 2005 American League Cy Young Award with the Los Angeles Angels behind a 3.48 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. It was one of 10 seasons in which he posted an ERA below 4.00 in his impressive major league tenure:

Age is something of a concern with a new contract at 43 years old, but he finished with head-turning numbers in 2015 at age 42. There is no reason to think he cannot at least be a solid innings-eater again after pitching more than 190 innings in each of the last four campaigns.

He also has plenty of postseason experience with 17 appearances and 10 starts. He has a 3.49 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in those games and can provide veteran leadership for a team with playoff aspirations in 2017. 

The Dominican Republic native becomes the second veteran starter to join the Braves in as many days. On Thursday, Atlanta announced the signing of 42-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey as it looks to add some leadership to a young team preparing to turn the corner after an extensive rebuild.

While Colon may not be the most vital member of the Braves staff, which is led by Julio Teheran, he gives them formidable depth and a playoff-tested arm should the team finally start to climb back up the standings in 2017.

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Bartolo Colon Replaces Madison Bumgarner on 2016 NL All-Star Roster

New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon is headed to his fourth All-Star Game after Terry Collins, his manager in New York and of the National League All-Star team, selected him Friday to replace San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner for Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic, per James Wagner of the New York Times.

Bumgarner is scheduled to start the Giants’ game Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks and will not be able to pitch in San Diego on short rest. 

He will be the fourth Mets player and third pitcher to represent the organization on July 12, joining starter Noah Syndergaard, closer Jeurys Familia and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who was voted in as a starter.

The 43-year-old Colon is in his 19th MLB season and will make his first All-Star appearance since 2013 when he was a member of the Oakland Athletics. He was also an All-Star in his Cy Young Award-winning season in 2005 with the Los Angeles Angels and in 1998 as a 25-year-old with the Cleveland Indians.

Colon is 7-4 this season with a 3.28 ERA and 10 quality starts as a veteran presence inside a loaded Mets rotation that is stacked with young talent.  

Even though he’s a bottom-end starter in New York, he’s still capable of spinning some gems. He recently outdueled reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs on July 2, going six innings and allowing just two runs while striking out five in a 4-3 Mets win.

The man nicknamed “Big Sexy” has become a cult favorite not only with Mets fans but with baseball enthusiasts across the country due to his laid-back style and ability to make plays despite his 5’11”, 280-plus pound stature. 

But one of his finest moments of the season came in the batter’s box of the same ballpark where the All-Star Game is being held. In a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park in May, Colon launched his first career home run off James Shields:

With this being the last year on his deal with the Mets, via Spotrac, and given his age, this could well be Colon’s final season in Major League Baseball. If it is, then baseball fans everywhere will get at least one more opportunity to see such a universally loved player on the national stage. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.


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Bartolo Colon Injury: Updates on Mets Pitcher’s Thumb and Return

New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon left Tuesday’s start against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning after being hit in the hand by a comeback line drive. He was diagnosed with a right thumb injury, but X-rays were negative, and he is not expected to miss time. 

Continue for updates.

Colon’s Expected Return Date Revealed 

Wednesday, June 22

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported that “Colon’s swelling has mostly subsided. The team expects him to start Sunday in [Atlanta] as scheduled.”

Colon Injury Details Revealed 

Tuesday, June 21

The Mets announced Colon left with a right thumb contusion, per DiComo, who added the X-rays showed nothing was broken. 

Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield hit the ball up the middle on Colon’s fourth pitch, sending it caroming off the Mets starter and toward second base.

Colon Remains Reliable Starter for Mets

Colon, 43, is 6-3 with a 3.00 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP and 56 strikeouts this season. He’s given the team a nice veteran option at the back end of its rotation behind Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.

It wouldn’t be a huge loss for the Mets if he were forced to miss time as the team has one of the best rotations in the majors and depth to spare, but Colon’s proved to be a solid innings-eater late in his career. His longevity has been something of a surprise, though not to his teammates who see him work every day.

“People make assumptions, but if you’re around Bartolo, you see how he prepares,” David Wright told John Harper of the New York Daily News in February. “I’d bet a significant amount of money that he’s the most flexible guy on the team. I see him prepare on the days when he’s pitching. He’s got a stretching routine second to none.”

Mets fans must be happy this was just a minor injury and that Colon is not expected to miss time.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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42-Year-Old Colon Becomes Oldest Player to Hit 1st Home Run

New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon had an interesting weekend, becoming the oldest player in MLB history to hit the first home run of his career, per MLB Stat of the Day.

With two outs and a runner on second base during the second inning of Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres, the 42-year-old Colon launched a fastball from Padres pitcher James Shields into the left field stands at Petco Park.

Prior to Saturday, Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson had been the oldest player to hit his first career homer, having done so in 2003 at the age of 40.

Furthermore, Colon became the second-oldest player to hit a home run in a Mets uniform, trailing only the ageless Julio Franco, who homered for the Amazins as a 48-year-old, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Colon needed 226 at-bats for his first long ball, and he has just 21 career hits, with 18 of those being singles.

After striking out in his final two at-bats in Saturday’s contest, he has 121 strikeouts in 228 at-bats (53.1 percent) and a measly .092 batting average.

The Mets obviously don’t mind, as Colon improved his record to 3-1 in Saturday’s eventual 6-3 victory, limiting the Padres to three runs on six hits and a walk over 6.2 innings.

He has a 2.82 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 33 strikeouts through 38.1 innings, having allowed three or fewer runs in each of his seven appearances (six starts) this season.

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Bartolo Colon Hits 1st Career Home Run at Age 42 vs. Padres

New York Mets pitcher and internet folk hero Bartolo Colon added to his legend Saturday against the San Diego Padres by hitting the first home run of his 19-year Major League Baseball career.  

MLB on Twitter provided video of Colon’s triumphant moment:

Since baseball is a sport of numbers, let’s examine some of the stats that accompanied Colon’s big blast, which came off James Shields in the top of the second inning at Petco Park. 

MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo noted Statcast clocked Colon rounding the bases in a brisk 30.6 seconds to celebrate his first homer. 

DiComo also sent out a GIF of Colon getting mobbed by his Mets teammates in the dugout:

MLB.com’s Darren Willman provided all of the Statcast information from Colon’s homer:

Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports noted Colon’s newfound power would put him in the upper tier of hitters on another National League East club:

Newsday’s Marc Carig was able to tie in Colon’s jog around the bases with Saturday’s other big sporting event:

Sticking with the Kentucky Derby, ESPN Stats & Info provided this little gem connecting Colon and Nyquist:

The legend of Colon has only grown as he’s gotten older. The fascination with a 42-year-old who looks like your favorite uncle but can still get MLB hitters out is off the charts. He came into Saturday’s game with 225 career at-bats and just two extra-base hitsboth doubles.

Colon hasn’t had many opportunities to hit throughout his career, not having spent much time in the National League before joining the Mets in 2014. He did have a brief stint with the Montreal Expos in 2002 but has otherwise been an American League pitcher.

Colon has been part of many impressive feats, both individually and as part of a team. He won the Cy Young Award in 2005 and played in the World Series last year, but Saturday’s long ball was one of the most unique accomplishments of his career.

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Colon Passes Pedro Martinez for 2nd-Most Wins by Dominican Pitcher

New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon earned his 220th career win in Monday’s 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves, passing former Mets hurler Pedro Martinez (219) for the second-most wins by a Dominican-born pitcher in MLB history, per MLB Stat of the Day.

The 42-year-old righty struck out seven batters and allowed seven hits in eight scoreless innings, dropping the hapless Braves to 6-19 as the Mets improved to 16-8.

Colon has also enjoyed an excellent season from an individual standpoint, with Monday’s outing improving his record to 2-1, his ERA to 2.56 and his WHIP to 1.14. He even has 28 strikeouts (and just three walks) over 31.2 innings, though he remains a lost cause at the plate with six strikeouts and no hits in nine at-bats.

Colon now needs just 23 more wins to match Juan Marichal (243) for the most by a Dominican-born pitcher, and while it’s unlikely that he’ll reach that milestone this season, Colon could get there at some point next year.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that he’ll play beyond 2016, even though his form suggests that he’ll have plenty left in the tank after this year.

Colon is playing under a one-year, $7.25 million contract in his third season with the Mets.

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Mets P Bartolo Colon Looks Tremendous in Official Picture

Behold, ladies and gentlemen: “Big Sexy.”

The New York Mets tweeted a photo of starting pitcher Bartolo Colon on Tuesday, reminding us all why he’s earned that nickname.

Colon, 42 years old, will look to give the Mets’ star-studded staff a boost this season and help the team get back to the World Series.


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Mets’ Bartolo Colon Proves He’s Grinding Hard for New Season with Workout Video

The new year may have just kicked off, but Bartolo Colon wasted no time jumping in.

The right-hander is already working to make the most of the $7.25 million deal the New York Mets struck with him to bring him back for one more season.

That hard work took shape in a series of videos shared by MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, who kindly pointed out Colon will be turning 43 in 2016:

[Twitter, h/t SB Nation]

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Bartolo Colon Re-Signs with Mets: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Despite having a loaded starting rotation heading into 2016, the New York Mets have decided to bring right-hander Bartolo Colon back for one more season. 

Per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, citing “initial reports” from the Dominican Republic, Colon’s deal with the Mets will pay him $7.25 million next year, pending a physical.    

Per Susan Slusser the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Athletics were one of multiple teams willing to offer Colon more money than the Mets offer.    

Colon has been an effective starter for the Mets since 2014, throwing 397 innings over the past two years. His 4.13 ERA during that span is high, but given the strength of New York’s rotation, he’s simply asked to provide quality innings. 

The Mets could have moved on from Colon with no one batting an eye. They enter 2016 coming off a World Series appearance in which Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom had fantastic October runs. 

Steven Matz, who made three playoff starts and struck out 13 in 14.2 innings, will be in the Opening Day rotation, and Zack Wheeler will be returning from Tommy John surgery at some point. 

Yet Rosenthal also noted that despite having better offers on the table, Colon wanted to return to the Mets because he “loves fans, teammates [and the] organization.”

Joel Sherman of the New York Post also noted that Colon serves a vital role for the Mets after they traded Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates for second baseman Neil Walker. 

Even though Colon may transition to a long relief role, like he did during the Mets’ postseason run, manager Terry Collins knows he can call on the 42-year-old to be the No. 5/spot starter if another pitcher gets hurt or needs extra rest. 

Colon isn’t a game-changing pitcher at this point in his career, but he’s one of those guys every team wants because of his durability and versatility. The Mets know their strength lies in pitching and took steps to ensure what worked so well in 2015 will be back when next season begins. 

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