In one of the best, most shocking moments of the season, Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon hit his first career home run Saturday night, a two-run shot off the Padres’ James Shields. It took Colon until the age of 42 to go yard, making him the oldest player in major league history to finally break through with a homer. The ball exited Colon’s bat at 97 mph and traveled 365 feet at pitcher-friendly Petco Park, according to Statcast (data and video courtesy of SI Wire). Colon savored the accomplishment by taking a 30-second trot around the bases. He also impersonated Babe Ruth on the mound by turning in a nice pitching performance, throwing 6 2/3 innings of three-run ball in a 6-3 win.
We won’t top that tonight, but here’s more from the sport:
- Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani might be willing to leave his homeland for the majors if teams see him as both a pitcher and a hitter, tweets Jim Allen of Kyodo News. The 21-year-old Otani is in the midst of his third straight dominant season as a pitcher for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, and he’s on an early offensive tear with a .308/.362/.654 line in 58 plate appearances. Otani is a career .251/.306/,450 hitter with 23 home runs (including five this year) in 615 PAs. “He’s going to have to make a choice. Either way he’s going to be an All-Star-caliber player as a hitter or pitcher,” an American League scout told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe in February.
- The Phillies were among the many teams with a scout in attendance at free agent righty Tim Lincecum’s showcase Friday, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. At 31, Lincecum would become the elder statesman of the Phillies’ young rotation if he were to sign with them, though the club may have simply been doing its due diligence when it scouted the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
- Omar Infante has gotten the vast majority of playing time for the Royals at second base this year, but his days as the everyday option there are winding down, writes Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. “I’m just trying to find ways to keep him productive,” said manager Ned Yost. “Sometimes more recovery time makes him more productive. So playing him four days a week or three days a week or five days a week is better than seven days a week. His arm is shortening up and his range is shortening up.” After a stretch of solid production with multiple teams from 2009-13, Infante joined the Royals on a four-year, $30.25MM contract and immediately began a steep decline. In 1,126 plate appearances with Kansas City, Infante has hit a paltry .238/.269/.328 – including a .247/.284/.326 line in 96 PAs this season. Fellow Royals second baseman Christian Colon hasn’t been any better offensively in the early going, having slashed .250/.300/.286 in 30 PAs.