Go forth and rejoice! Everybody’s favorite Big Sexy pitcher is back in the game.
After being designated for assignment by the Atlanta Braves on June 29, many people wondered if Bartolo Colon would ever play in the big leagues again and everyone was in mourning — especially me! I always used the hashtag #Team Bartolo during the 2013 season when he should have won the Cy Young at age 40 and ever since!!
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 29, 2017 L
But in the event you hadn’t heard, the world is right again (well kinda if you pretend that a certain “world leader” doesn’t exist but to do so you’d have to stay off of social media until he’s impeached, I mean, relieved of his power. I don’t like to name names or talk politics when I should be thinking about baseball}
– Bartolo Colon has signed a Minor League deal with the Minnesota Twins! –
Ok, you’re probably wondering, “a minor league deal?’ So what? (or maybe your are not wondering that at all!)
Well the according to Rhett Bollinger the Twins’ beat writer for MLB.com Twins’ Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said that other teams were interested in Colon after the Braves DFA’d him.
Just need to add his Twins headshot … pic.twitter.com/papFXws21T
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 8, 2017
And they were attracted, not only by the fact that he was an All-Star last season at age 43 but also by the way he’s been able to reinvent himself as a pitcher throughout his 20-year career.
Colon started out getting hitters out using sheer velocity but to maintain his dominance throughout the past two decades he had to adjust to pitching efficiently and effectively at a lower velocity.
We’ve seen this before but it isn’t all that common for a guy to completely reinvent himself and adjust to new situations in this game. Bartolo is still one of those guys and the Twins wanted him.
When pressed on whether or not the Twins would be buyers or sellers at this year’s deadline (they are sitting in second place in the American League Central by just two-and-a-half games) Falvey just answered, “We are buyers of Bartolo Colon.” Personally, I think that makes them pretty lucky.
They are going to let him start out at Triple-A Rochester and see how it goes, likely keep him as an option for the backend of their starting staff down the road.
Falvy also noted how much Bartolo loves the game (why do you think I always called him my fave “Happy Fat Man?”} and how he sees the minor league deal as a good opportunity.
And it’s not just a good opportunity to work some things out in the minors but it’s an opportunity for him to look at his long career in its entirety. We’ve all heard that his goal is to surpass Juan Marichal (243) as the winningest Dominican-born pitcher and Colon (235) only needs eight more wins to accomplish that.
If he makes it there then he should continue his career just a little longer to be able to surpass Dennis Martinez as the winningest Latin-born pitcher ever. Martinez won 245 games in his career and if Colon were to go back to even 2016 form – he could accomplish that feat in one more season. Why not try?
So hopefully the Twins do end up needing him at the backend of their rotation! If he started after the All-Star break, just as an example, he’d have a chance at winning eight games but he’d have to be nearly unhittable.
Still, when, or if, the Twins bring him up and have him start – just a few good starts in a row would likely be enough to land him in a position to play next year and get those last couple of wins (if necessary!).
Regardless, it’s time to SMILE because Bartolo Colon is still playing baseball! And a lot of the time what he does is captivating — almost magical! (see videos below!) We love you Big Sexy! Welcome Back! #TeamBartolo