Twins manager Paul Molitor said he fully expects Colon to make his next start Monday against the Dodgers.
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Though he has spent the past couple of weeks completing bullpen sessions, Colon has not pitched in a game since June 5, when he surrendered the Phillies’ eight earned runs in three innings. The veteran hurler has allowed at least six runs in five of his 12 starts. He has allowed at least seven runs in each of his past three outings.
That’s how long Beltran and Colon have been playing. For those of us of a certain age, that home run chase seems like an event from another life. Maybe it was. Maybe Beltran and Colon have played two baseball lives. The AP story that night cited Colon’s performance:
Snitker said this was a time “you have to make a decision to protect a player from himself.” He described Colon and other veterans as “warriors” who “have little things going on and they don’t want to back off.”
Colon completed one of his finest starts of the season on April 16, when he limited the Padres to one run and two baserunners over seven innings. He has a 9.21 ERA over the nine starts that have followed.
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The team has yet to determine if Hughes will undergo the same season-ending surgery he had on July 6 of last year, in which a rib was removed to relieve nerve pressure on his right shoulder, but he is likely done for the season, according to Molitor.
Colon relies heavily on his fastball, throwing 82.1 percent of the time this year, and 89.5 percent of the time last year. He also mixes in an occasional slider and changeup. His fastball velocity averaged 87.9 mph in each of the last two seasons. Colon is regarded for his pinpoint control, leading the National League in cheap mlb jerseys fewest walks per nine innings in ’15 and ’16, but that rate nearly doubled this year, while also seeing an uptick in homers allowed. His last start came on June 28, when he gave up six runs over four innings against the Padres.
Anyway, if this it for Colon, there are not many players who can match his achievements. He’s 62nd on the all-time wins list with 235. Since 1980, only eight pitchers have won more games.
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The Twins are working with Colon on when he’ll make his next start, as he’s been throwing in the Dominican Republic since getting designated and the All-Star break is looming. But Colon made it clear he believes he still has plenty left in the tank.
“I felt good,” Colon said through a translator. “The first four innings went good, but the fifth inning I couldn’t get out of it. They started getting on top of me and hitting me hard. When you don’t locate the pitches where they’re supposed to be, you get hit hard.”
“Thing is, when he was with Seattle, he couldn’t hit me, but once he got traded here to Toronto he just got on fire against me,” Colon said through an interpreter when asked about the exchange. “I just went up to him and said, ‘Hey, are you trying to kill me?’ No, it’s good for him. It’s battles you have with hitters.”
“He’s been down a little bit, hasn’t pitched against live hitters, so we just want to make sure he gets back and everything looks right,” Twins executive vice president and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said of plans to bring Colon to the majors.
The nine-run outburst by the Minnesota offense in the opening frame was certainly a gift for Colon, though it had very little impact on his gameplan with Gimenez. Colon, as always, threw primarily fastballs and located the corners of the strike zone with his two-seamer.
Colon also did his part to extend the team’s winning streak to four games. Minnesota has now won 11 of its past 14 dating back to Aug. 6, which has allowed the team to remain well within the chase for the second spot in the American League Wild Card.