Bartolo Colon isn’t done yet. Days after being released by the Atlanta Braves, the 44-year-old right-hander has landed on his feet and in a potentially good situation after inking a minor-league deal with the Minnesota Twins.
That’s good news for him and for baseball fans in general. But there is some downside here too. Now that Colon has gone back to the American League, it’s possible we’ve seen the last of him as a major-league hitter.
We know that’s an awfully selfish thing to consider given Colon’s desire and determination to simply continue his career and contribute again at the major league level. But Colon could unintentionally entertain like no other when he stepped to the plate. His at-bats were must see television because you never knew what you’d get, but in the back of your mind you always suspected he’d do something memorable.
The most memorable of his swings came last May in San Diego, when at 42 years and 349 days old he became the oldest player to hit his first career home run.
Opportunities like that could be few and far between, if not non-existent should Colon work his way to the Twins roster.
According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Colon will report to the Twins Triple A affiliate in Rochester. That’s where he’ll attempt to get on track after looking like the gas tank might be nearing empty with the Braves.
During a 13-start stint with Atlanta to begin the season, Colon posted an 8.14 ERA while allowing 11 homers over just 63 innings. He landed on the disabled list with an oblique injury on June 6 and was designated for assignment on June 29 after being roughed up in his return start by San Diego.
If he reaches the majors, the Twins would represent Colon’s tenth different team. He was originally signed by the Indians in 1993 and debuted for them in 1997. Now he’s hoping to help Minnesota in their bid to catch and pass Cleveland in the standings. Minnesota entered Friday night 1 1/2 games behind the Indians in the AL Central.
Given Minnesota’s rotation issues, it’s more likely than not that he’ll get a chance. Minnesota has struggled to find consistency within its starting five outside Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios, and a veteran with big-game experience like Colon makes sense. Now all eyes turn to Rochester, where we wait to see if the Bartolo Colon Experience is ready to return to the big leagues.
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