It took 20 seasons, but we found the one thing that will force Bartolo Colón to leave baseball: Pitching for the Minnesota Twins.
The 44-year-old Colón told Marly Rivera of ESPN that he has considered retirement, and may make that decision based on how he performs in his next start.
We here at The Stew aren’t in the business of drawing up odds, but we would put our money on Colón’s next start being his last. Unless the Twins alter their rotation, Colón will face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. The Dodgers are fifth in the majors in run scored this season.
Colón has been dreadful this year. In 14 starts, Colón has an 8.19 ERA. He’s allowed 100 hits in just 67 innings.
If this is it for Colón, he’ll leave behind a strange legacy. Early on in his career, Colón was a fireballer who could eat up innings. He contended for the Cy Young award a few times before winning it in 2005.
Things started to go downhill in 2006. Colón posted a 5.11 ERA during an injury-riddled year. He would continue on that path until 2009. Colón started 12 games for the Chicago White Sox that season, posting a solid 4.19 ERA. But he mysteriously disappeared from the team during the year. He was out of baseball in 2010.
Colón returned at 38, and suddenly appeared to turn things around with the Oakland Athletics. Most of it was due to a change in approach. Colón basically threw nothing but 88 mph fastballs, but was able to command the pitch well and cut the ball enough to be effective. It was almost too good to be true. Colón was hit with a 50-game suspension in 2012 after testing positive for a heightened level of testosterone.
That didn’t scare off the New York Mets. The team took a chance on Colón, and he produced solid numbers over three seasons, even making the All-Star Game as a 43-year-old in 2016. With the Mets, Colón became a fan favorite. He also earned the nickname “Big Sexy.”
Fans knew Colón’s age would catch up to him at some point. Father Time remains undefeated, after all. While many will mourn his probable exit, they shouldn’t. Colón not only lasted 20 season in the big leagues, but did so despite some significant hurdles. He’s had one of the most fascinating careers in recent memory.
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