Veteran pitcher and folk hero Bartolo Colon, who pitched for the New York Mets between 2014 and 2016 (with a run into the World Series in 2015 in between) has recently said that he isn’t giving up on his dream of returning to the majors.
In fact, he even said that the Mets hold a special place in his heart, and that he would like to retire with the organization if it was up to him. In Queens, he had a 3.90 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 588.2 innings, starting 95 games between the three years. He was dependable and effective, and the fans know that.
Colon turned 47 over the weekend. He couldn’t find a major league deal over the spring and was getting ready to pitch in the Mexican League before the coronavirus pandemic put those plans to a halt.
Will the Mets give him another shot?
According to the Associated Press, cited by the New York Post, there is a reason why Colon is so desperate to return to the major leagues.
“I’m not retired. That’s not in my mind,” Colón told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “I’m still hoping of reaching my goal of pitching 46 innings. I’ll sign with the first team who wants me.”
Why 46, you may ask? Because that’s the amount of frames separting himself from the record of most innings pitched by a Dominican pitcher, held by Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.
After pitching for the Texas Rangers in 2018, the “Big Sexy” reached 3,461 2/3 innings. He is 247-188 in 565 games — 552 as a starter since he debuted with the Cleveland Indians back in 1997. His time on the Mets, though, was the last time he was particularly successful.
Marichal pitched 3,507 innings in 471 games over 16 years.
Colon knows that the clock is ticking and time isn’t precisely on his side.
“I know this is not a sport for the old, it’s for the young,” Colon said. “I keep training. Even though I’m not playing right now, I tried to keep fit.”
“I had to decide to stay in Mexico or get back to the Dominican Republic. I went to my country and they also have quarantines and curfews,” he said. “I’m still waiting. The Monclova people say they will tell me what will be happening with the season, depending on the virus.”
The Mets’ rotation is actually thin in depth now that Noah Syndergaard will miss the year with Tommy John surgery. Will they consider bringing Colon back for a farewell tour?