The top four spots in the Diamondbacks rotation are set with ace Ian Kennedy heading a staff that will also feature Daniel Hudson, newcomer Trevor Cahill and Josh Collmenter, but the final spot continues to be undecided.
There are plenty of young arms down in the minors that could possibility fill out the back end of the rotation. Top prospects like Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer lead the way, but general manager Kevin Towers appears content on adding a veteran arm to a group where the 27-year-old Kennedy is the oldest.
A couple of names have popped up throughout this offseason. Aaron Cook and Paul Maholm were two of those names, but both have signed deals elsewhere. Now a new name is in the mix and it was tweeted out by ESPN’s Jayson Stark earlier today.
Bartolo Colon was left for dead last offseason after coming off a 2010 season where he didn’t pitch due to bad right shoulder and damage to his rotator cuff. The right-hander had an unusual surgery where he received a transplant of stem cells to repair his troubled shoulder, but the pitching desperate Yankees still signed him to a minor league deal.
All things considering, the veteran pitched pretty darn well in 2011. Colon got off to an unreal real start during the first couple of months of the season, but slowed down at the end of the year. Colon still managed to win eight games and had a 4.00 ERA in 164.1 innings, his highest total since 2005.
Many fans will probably see this news and look at it with some disdain. They will probably say that Colon’s best days are behind him and that he would be better off in a pie eating contest instead of pitching against major league hitters at the big league level. I agree with the former, but not with the latter.
I don’t think having Colon as your fifth starter is essentially a bad thing. Yes, he is no longer a Cy Young contender, but he proved last season that he still has some life in his arm at 38 years of age. At times last season, Colon got real close to returning to his old velocity of earlier in his career.
With having Colon as your final guy in your rotation, you wouldn’t be asking a lot from him. You would want Colon to eat up innings and keep your team in position to win games. At the very least, you would be asking him to hold down the fort for a couple of months until either Skaggs or Bauer are ready to take over.
Stay tuned here for the latest news regarding Colon and any other name that pops up in the Diamondbacks search to filling out the final spot in their rotation.