It was fun watching Bartolo Colon on Wednesday afternoon.
And no, I’m not talking about him legging out a double and scoring from second base moments later when Eric Young Jr. knocked him in with his own double.
Ok, maybe I am. After all, Colon is fun to watch run the bases.
No, Wednesday was all about Colon’s mastery on the mound. After a lead-off home run by Matt Carpenter, Colon would settle in and blank the Cardinals the rest of the way while pitching eight innings and allowing just the one run on four hits (no walks). And the thing is, he could have kept going, as he only threw 86 pitches but Terry Collins did not want to, I guess you can say “overheat” Colon on a hot St. Louis day. The Mets would barely hold on to win the game, as Dana Eveland came in to record the final out of the game, getting lefty Matt Adams to ground out.
Colon is now 7-5 on the year to go with a 3.88 ERA (it was, remember, 5.84 after his May 12 start against the Yankees) and 1.20 WHIP. With Wednesday’s start, Colon now has five quality outings in his last six starts (and he would have had another if he got one more out in his June 7 start in San Francisco). In that time, he has given up just eight earned runs in 43.1 innings pitched, while allowing just 22 hits and eight walks.
Basically, Colon is starting to do what he was signed in the offseason to do and that was go deep in games, throw quality starts while stabilizing the Mets’ rotation—especially with Matt Harvey lost for the year. After a rough start, Colon is finally starting to heat up with the corresponding summer weather.
The question now remains, what will his role and value be heading forward?
With the Mets in last place in the NL East and eight games under .500, what value does Colon have with the Mets especially when for the most part they are built on youth. Obviously, the Mets will aim to keep getting better and perhaps with Dillon Gee coming back from the DL, as well as Juan Lagares, and the eventual recall of an improved Travis d’Arnaud, maybe the Mets will make a surge with a healthy, productive crew.
However, even the most optimistic Mets’ fan will tell you the playoffs are not likely within reach. With that said, maybe the Mets should do what a lot of people expected them to do when they signed Colon and that is flip him at the deadline.
With an affordable $20 million two-year contract, Colon wont be all that costly in a trade and perhaps a team in contention could use his services more than the Mets can. At 41, Colon is not one who is going to stick around for the long haul. On the other hand, and to play devil’s advocate, maybe Colon can stick around next year and join Harvey and Noah Syndergaard and make up one hell of a rotation.
However, it’s been stated here before plenty of times, but the Mets have at least eight solid staff arms ready to contribute next year in Colon, Harvey, Gee, Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero and the rehabbing Jeremy Hefner. We’ve been saying it ad nauseam, but sooner or later the Mets need to trade some of their excess pitching and Colon could be at the top of the list.
It’s uncertain what kind of haul they can get for Colon, but if the Mets keep spiraling out of control and Colon cruises along, it’s something they may just have to explore. For the time being, it’s nice to see Colon get going while temporarily stopping the bleeding on Wednesday.
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