Bartolo Colon made the all-star game for the New York Mets last season, winning fourteen games with a 3.43 ERA.
At this point, that seems like a century ago.
Colon has looked like nothing more than the #2 pitcher on your local high school baseball team. His fastball, that has lost nearly all it’s velocity, has now seemingly lost it’s movement. Instead of forcing hitters into a frustrating amount of groundballs with his sinking action, he has become the MLB’s whipping boy for the Braves, and it is safe to say this cannot go on for much longer.
In 10 starts Colon has a 6.96 ERA and only averages 5 inning per start. So not only is Colon giving the Braves a slim chance to win every five days, but he also forces the bullpen to log a ton of innings. Atlanta (22-27) is still in the thick of things with over 100 games left to play. Their offense has blossomed into a force, even without Freddie Freeman, but their starting pitching has let them down profusely thus far.They have a couple prospects on the edge of being called up, and that will happen very soon if Colon does not turn things around as early as tonight against the Angels.
If the Braves opt to give one of their young-arms a chance in the rotation, Colon might be traded in the process. Despite his abominal numbers in 2017, his track record of over 20 years the big leagues speaks for itself. This is not the first year Colon has not had the stuff that he once had. He has made a living in the latter part of his career by changing his pitching style and adjusting to the game. Competing teams throughout the league are always desperate for starting pitchers, and Colon would be a player teams could scoop up at a dirt-cheap price right now.
Maybe Colon can pick up with another team and find that magic that has allowed to him to pitch at 44 years of age. The Big Sexy is a fan favorite across the league, and everyone, including Braves fans, want to see him succeed even if it is not in Atlanta. But Colon’s days in Atlanta are numbered. If he does not turn it around, the Braves are going to move him elsewhere or DFA him to give the emerging Lucas Sims or Sean Newcomb a chance in the big leagues.