2 Guys Talking: Weighing In on Bartolo Colon

Oakland Athletics Photo DayMike:

Unlike most of the Mets moves of the past four years, the signing of Bartolo Colon was a very fast process. The signing was something of a surprise, and most of our reaction to Bartolo was about the merits of the transaction. Today I wanted to forget about the dollars, as hard as that can be, and think about what we are expecting Colon to produce this year.

Jimmy:

Colon’s 2014 season? Sure, piece of cake. And I mean, a large piece of cake. Listen, before I weigh in on this topic, I should announce that I am trying to quit with the offensive fat jokes. It’s one of the last, ugly, socially-tolerated prejudices and, truly, it’s beneath the standards established in this esteemed blog. I’m sure that Bartolo is thick and tired of it, too. When he was a little boy, he could only play seek. His parents took him to visit the Grand Canyon . . . and he got stuck! When Bartolo gets on an elevator, it only¬†goes down. I expect his season will be feast and famine. Mostly feast.

(This will not be easy as I thought.)

Mike:

Although I would be thrilled if Colon matched his 2013 season, I can’t envision it. When you look at his career you have to go back ten years to find anything close to 2013. It’s unreasonable to expect anything like that. That 4.00 ERA with the Yankees feels like what we should be rooting for. If Colon can do that, he can help us win games.

Jimmy:

I compared him to Orlando Hernandez, and that’s my hope for Bartolo. I don’t expect more than 150 innings, and I doubt he’s going to get into the 7th inning too often.

Mike:

Agreed. My biggest concern about Colon is durability. Wheeler will certainly be on an innings leash; if Meija is our number five starter he will be as well. Yes, Colon threw 199 innings in 2013, but look at the totals for the six years prior to that.

  • 152
  • 164
  • 62
  • 39
  • 99
  • 56

When you look at those numbers, and combine them with Bartolo’s age, anything more than the 150 innings pitched you cited feels like wishful thinking. The bullpen could be burnt out by June.

Jimmy:

Speaking of wishful shrinking, when Bartolo goes to a restaurant, they don’t give him a menu — they give him an estimate.

When Sandy signed him, he wasn’t a beep on my radar. He was a BEEEEEEEEEEEEP! on my radar.

Yes, I know we hoped for an innings eater, but all we got was . . .

americans-overeating-2

Nope, I’m not going there.

It’s always difficult to bring this up, but I wondered if Colon’s ethnicity might be of some value, with young pitchers like Mejia and Montero in the wings. Ron Darling stated that he felt the Mets staff needed a veteran leader. I don’t know if Bartolo is that guy. In a related note, I was interested when, a while back, Theo Epstein stated that the Cubs were seeking a bilingual manager. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Hospitals are looking for doctors and nurses who can speak more than one language.

Mike:

I do find value in a team having some solid veterans around. I don’t know if Colon is that guy (a PED past sure doesn’t impress me much), but for now I will keep an open mind.

Jimmy:

Another fascinating thing about Bartolo will be to watch the way he pitches. From what I’ve read, he threw 85% fastballs last season, not at overpowering speeds, but he puts them exactly where he wants them.

Mike:

And Citi Field plays very well to that approach. Challenge hitters and trust the ballpark will hold a lot of balls.

citi1

-

Overall, Colon promises to be an interesting Met to watch this year, with a boom or bust element to his profile. As a fan I’m hoping for the former, but as a realist I’m braced for the latter.

Jimmy:

I’d hate to see Sandy’s second-costliest signing go to waist.

In the meantime, hide the wicker!

On a side note, it will be interesting to watch Bartolo hit and run the basepaths. If he hauls ass, he’ll have to take two trips. It might be a difficult transition for Bartolo, as if he doesn’t already have enough on his plate!

Stop me before I pun again.

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17 comments

  1. Mack Ade says:

    The fat jokes are okay…

    They could have been colon related…

  2. James Preller says:

    My wife used to be a nurse, and she tells funny stories about assisting on colonoscpies. She said on the first one, the doctor came in carrying over his shoulder what looked like a garden hose. I’ve never gotten that image out of my mind.

  3. RAFF says:

    Eric and I have been discussing about 2nd Annual Spring Training Trek- We’re possibly targeting a little Jaunt over to Port St. Lucie on Tues. March 4th… FAT TUESDAY! The Met’s should HAVE SOME GUTS, look at the BIG PICTURE, FEED INTO THE DRAMA, SET THE TABLE for a great event, and hand the ball to Bartolo for at least a couple innings of work. Maybe put together a little food and beverage Promo to Fatten their take at the Gate. —????

  4. Alan K. says:

    I do think the veteran leadership point is valid. Colon is a pitcher who was able to successfully reinvent himself and should have valuable knowledge to impart to a young staff. But if the Mets are where most people think they will be July, and Syndergaard and/or Montero are ready, I can see Colon being traded to a contender.

  5. W.k. kortas says:

    Frankly, do you need to give a 40-year old pitcher a two-year deal? With all the Mets hand-wringing over their payroll, why didn’t Alderson insist on one-year with a mutual option or a reasonable buyout? If the idea is to move Colon at the deadline–or at least have that as a Plan B–that $11 mil Colon’s due to get in 2015 is going to limit the number of your dance partners.

  6. Reese Kaplan says:

    And they thought R.A. Dickey was too old to make an investment into his 40s. Hmmn…

    As long as we’re piling on, anyone want to set odds on the buffet tables in Port St. Lucie between Jose Valverde and Bartolo Colon?

    • RAFF says:

      Without regard to comparing the merits of Colon vs Dickey– The “arithmetic” of the sequence of the transactions makes perfect sense. You deal a guy who is going to cost you 10-12mm, annually, for two lowly paid top prospects (TDA & Thor) and then add a similarly skilled FA pitcher who costs $10-12mm annually. In more perfect world- the timing would be more compressed, as far adding the Pitcher.

  7. IB says:

    Man, talk about an eruption after holding back! Sheesh!

    I think you’re right. With all that hype AAA talent
    they got to e=be thinking about his trade value

  8. W.k. kortas says:

    I’d agree–Burnett is less of a threat to have the bottom drop out of his game (and the notion of Colon’s bottom dropping is pretty frightening) and he’s more likely to give you 190+ innings. Even if the Mets can/want to move Colon at the deadline, they’ll probably have to eat some of his 2015 salary, which seems to fly in the face of what the Mets have been doing and just plain common sense as well.

    • Maybe they can get Bartolo to eat the extra salary — he eats everything else.

      Wait, what? I swear to God this shit will stop!

      Seriously, I think it’s widely understood that length is more onerous than rate, when it comes to contracts. I didn’t expect Sandy to go two years on anybody. That said, if he turns around and flips Niese/Gee or Montero/Mejia or whomever, then I guess it could be argued that having Colon allows you to do that. However, that doesn’t seem like Sandy’s modus operandi.

      • Michael Geus says:

        When this signing was made I thought perhaps it was done to allow the team to trade one of our young pitchers for a hitter.

        Silly me.

        • That still may yet be a possibility. Though the weighting is the hardest part.

          In all seriousness, maybe holding out to see if teams start dismantling during the early going of 2014?

          • RAFF says:

            If other teams stat dismantling early, Colon’s potential trading value goes down. In any event- any thought that the Mets committed to 2 years at $20mm + for the purpose of trading him is really illogical., even for them.

  9. ERAFF says:

    I’m in disbelief that the Mets have not signed Drew…. and I’m even more amazed that they signed Bartolo for 2/$20 million. Aside from vitually EVERYTHING that The Phillies have been doing, the Mets’ decision making is virtually incomprehensible to me, and stands out as absolutely outside of logical explanation. They win the off-season “HUH!?” award!!! Yes..they’ll be better,,,,but….

    You say Colon, I’ll say Aroyo…. You say CYoung, I’ll say McClouth…. my head hurts!!!

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