Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon tells ESPN’s Marly Rivera that he’s considered retirement recently. The 44-year-old signed a minor league pact with the Twins and made his debut in Minneapolis last night, surrendering four runs in four innings vs. the Yankees. Colon hasn’t made up his mind yet, and it sounds as if he’s planning to make his next start (which comes against the Dodgers in L.A. on July 24), but Rivera notes that his performance in that outing could directly impact his future.
The 2017 season has been brutal for the affable Colon. Signed to a one-year, $12.5MM contract on the heels of an excellent age-43 season with the Mets, Colon limped to an 8.14 ERA with the Braves before last night’s poor outing with Minnesota. Colon did navigate the Yankees’ lineup rather successfully twice through, allowing just one run in his first four innings of work, but he allowed some hard contact in the fourth before kicking off the fifth with a single and a pair of ringing doubles that ended his night.
Colon’s admission is somewhat reminiscent of 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo’s candor with the media earlier this season, in which the veteran Reds right-hander bluntly acknowledged to the Cincinnati media that if he didn’t soon “see something a little bit crisper and able to keep us in the ballgame a little bit better, maybe you’re at a dead end street.”
Obviously, the Twins and Colon will both hope for better results in his next scheduled outing. If he’s able to soak up some innings for a Minnesota club that finds itself a surprising contender in late July, he’d be a quality asset simply by functioning as a durable innings eater. That, however, hasn’t been the case to this point. There’s no evidence to suggest that the Twins would try Colon in a long relief role, and it’s not known how open he’d be to that at this stage of his career.
If things do go south for Colon once again in his next time out and it does prove to be the end of the line, he’ll have turned in a fairly remarkable career. Colon has spent parts of 20 seasons in the Major Leagues, totaling 3329 1/3 innings while appearing as a member of the Indians, Angels, Mets, Athletics, White Sox, Expos, Twins, Braves, Red Sox and Yankees. In that time he’s worked to a 235-171 record with a 4.02 ERA, 6.7 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 and been named to four All-Star teams in addition to taking home 2005 American League Cy Young honors.