Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bartolo Is Worth a Flyer

While the Mets pat themselves on the back for picking up the guy who came in third for the 2005 AL Cy Young Award, the Red Sox swooped in and signed the guy who beat him out!

The purpose of the previous sentence is to remind you in this election year that it's possible for a person to be full of crap even when they say something that is 100% true.

Anyway, I think Colon is definitely worth signing to the kind of deal the Sox are apparently giving him. As U.S.S. Mariner's Dave Cameron noted back in October, there are many good reasons to suspect that Colon could bounce back this year, not the least of which are (a) improving health; (b) a rebounding velocity and strikeout rate towards the end of last season; and (c) a very high BABIP (.361) last year which, as many of you know, is influenced by many factors outside of a pitcher's control. In short, he wasn't as bad as he looked last year, and could be better than expected this year.

Of course, since Cameron wrote that, Colon made several appearances in winter ball, and every time he pitched scouts came away underwhelmed. Wait. Strike that. They ran away screaming. Was it his conditioning? His motivation? With Colon those have always been issues, so I'm sure that's part of it. Fact is, he might simply be done. The good thing about this deal, of course, is that if he's not done, Curt Schilling's shoulder isn't nearly as big a problem as it looked a couple of weeks ago, and if he is done, it hasn't cost them anything.

Final note: a look at Colon's page reveals that he is yet another modern day star without a nickname. How is this possible? The guy is an orca-fat Dominican fireballer who, by all accounts, has a pretty good sense of humor. If he was around in the 50s he would have been given a nickname so early in his career that we all would have forgotten that his name was Bartolo by now.


Anonymous said...

Just got done looking through his top ten statistical comps through age 34. Of the ten, seven of them were completely done at that point, and none of the other three enjoyed what you'd call a good season after that point, unless you count Mike Flanagan's fluky good year as a reliever at age 39. Combining that with Colon's body type and ungood performance over the winter, and it's pretty likely he's done.

Mike said...

It would be very surprising if he has anything left. Let's keep in mind he's 35 for the 2008 season, and he hasn't been consistently good since he was 30. He did have a good year in 2005 (although voting aside, it certainly shouldn't have been a Cy Young Award season!), but look at the three seasons that surround 2005. In three of his last four seasons, Colon has posted two seasons with ERA's above 5.00 and another one above 6.00. Maybe the baseball fairy will come and sprinkle magic dust on his right arm while he sleeps and he'll have a rebound season, but the odds are slim. And that's the only time you'll see the word slim when talking about Colon.