A’s Bartolo Colon – Winning With Finesse – Not Power

Nothing about veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon makes sense.

Athletics News

Colon is the highest among qualified pitchers in the American League by using his fast ball 89 percent of the time

In a rotation rich with talented young arms – including Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone and Daniel Straily – the doughy 39-year-old Colon is 9-8 with a 3.37 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 22 starts and 138.2 innings.

On Tuesday, Colon allowed one unearned run and four hits with five strikeouts and no walks over seven innings in Oakland’s 10-4 victory over the Angels. He surrendered the unearned run in the seventh and saw his consecutive scoreless innings streak end at 22 1/3, yet he has logged 22 2/3 straight frames without allowing  an earned run. Colon last permitted an earned run on July 22, when Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson belted a solo home run.

An integral reason why  Oakland is 60-51 and holds the second American League wild card spot after a 9-8 win against the Angels on Wednesday, Colon is getting outs and pitching deep into games in an unusual fashion.

Long gone is the power pitcher who overmatched hitters with a high 90s fast ball during his earlier Major League days with Cleveland and the Angels, for whom he won the 2005 American League Cy Young Award with a 21-8 record. In that former ace’s place is a crafty veteran who truly defines the baseball term “pitching to contact.”

According to Fangraphs.com, Colon is the highest among qualified pitchers in the American League by using his fast ball 89 percent of the time. Cleveland’s Justin Masterson, who incorporates the pitch in 78.6 percent of his offerings, is second.

Colon neither induces an extreme number of ground balls – as Masterson does with his sinker – or gets swings and misses with his heater, as he once did as a young fireballer. Fangraphs.com pointed out that Colon delivered 83 fast balls in Tuesday’s start. Angels hitters swung and misses at those pitches only once. On the evening, he tallied 93 pitches, so 89.6 percent of them were fast balls.

Having the benefit of pitching home games at spacious Oakland Coliseum undoubtedly helps Colon’s numbers. Yet the thrower turned pitcher’s favorable habits of throwing strikes, minimizing walks and fooling hitters into swinging at offerings outside of the strike zone. Fangraphs.com notes that batters swing of Colon’s pitches outside of the strike zone 32.6 percent rate. They typically don’t miss, but in many cases they make soft contact.

Naysayers will argue that it is a matter of time before opposing hitters knock around a 39-year-old pitcher who so heavily relies on a fast ball that doesn’t sink. Meanwhile, Colon keeps producing zeroes on the scoreboard and showing his young rotation mates that Major Leaguers don’t have to overpower batters to win.

Oakland Athletics News – Brandon McCarthy (shoulder) will return from the disabled list to start Friday against the White Sox.

 


Latest News

Red Sox: J.D. Martinez Continues His Physical at Spring Training Facility
Red Sox: J.D. Martinez Continues His Physical at Spring Training Facility
Three-Way Trade Sends Souza to Diamondbacks and Drury to Yankees
Three-Way Trade Sends Souza to Diamondbacks and Drury to Yankees
Eric Hosmer Agrees to Eight-Year Deal with San Diego Padres
Eric Hosmer Agrees to Eight-Year Deal with San Diego Padres
Report: Eduardo Nunez and Red Sox Agree to Deal for One Year
Report: Eduardo Nunez and Red Sox Agree to Deal for One Year
Los Angeles Angels Plan to Use Shohei Ohtani in Six-Man Rotation
Los Angeles Angels Plan to Use Shohei Ohtani in Six-Man Rotation
Cubs Sign Free Agent Yu Darvish
Cubs Sign Free Agent Yu Darvish


Leave a Reply

 
© 2006-2018 BBNS.