Former New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon is looking for one last chance to pitch in the bigs, at 47-years-old.
One more shot. One last chance. How many professional athletes have craved a final opportunity after they passed their prime? Bartolo Colon is now 47-years-old, but he wants a last chance to be a Major League pitcher. If he has it his way, that opportunity will come with the New York Mets.
Colon pitched for the Amazins from 2014-16. He was part of the team that went to the World Series in 2015 and represented the New York Mets in the 2016 All-Star Game. During his three seasons with the team, Colon went 44-34, with a 3.90 Earned Run Average. His final season as part of the Amazins, the man dubbed “Big Sexy” by teammate Noah Syndergaard went 15-8 in 191.2 innings, over 33 starts. He led the Mets in all those stats at the age of 43.
How much has the game changed since Colon made his MLB debut with Cleveland in 1997? To start with, he was a member of both the Montreal Expos and Anaheim Angels. Colon played in the 1998 All-Star game, his teammates on the American League squad included Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter, and Roberto Alomar. For a final kicker, young Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. was born the December following Colon’s rookie season.
Maybe it’s a little fun to joke about his age or 5-11, 285-pound frame, but his final MLB season was anything but funny. Colon began the 1998 campaign as the Texas Rangers fifth starter. Through his first nine starts, he was 2-1, with a 2.82 ERA and an impressive 0.86 WHIP. Unfortunately, he wore down from there. Opposing batters hit him like they were at batting practice. Colon was demoted to the bullpen and finished the year 7-12, with a 5.68 ERA.
Colon told ESPN’s Marly Rivera he hasn’t retired, despite not pitching in 2019. For motivation, the 20-year MLB veteran is 46 innings from passing Hall-of-Famer Juan Marischal for most innings pitched by a Dominican born player. Breaking that record is important to him.
As mentioned earlier, Colon would like to end his career with the Mets. In that interview, he had good things to say about the organization and fans.
“That Mets team was really something special,” Colon said. “I’ve played with 10 teams, but with the Mets, the way all those players treated me, how that entire franchise treated me, from the front office to the kitchen staff, it was amazing. And Mets fans are the best.”
With Syndergaard out for 2020 after Tommy John surgery, there might be an opening for Colon. Currently, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha are penciled into the fourth and fifth starter slots, respectively. After that, the Mets have very little depth to call on, without disrupting what should be a terrific bullpen.
In a compressed season with more doubleheaders, extra starters are a necessity. It doesn’t cost the team anything to give him a spring training 2.0 invite.
What do you think about giving Bartolo Colon a chance to earn a spot on the New York Mets in 2020? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.