Oakland Athletics: What to Expect in Return of Bartolo Colon

By Karl Buscheck
Bartolo Colon
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After the Oakland Athletics took the first three games of the series, Bartolo Colon is slated to be activated from the DL and pitch the final game against the Detroit Tigers.

The 40-year-old Colon will be gunning for his 15th win of the season, which would tie Jack Quinn for second most wins by a pitcher of that age in franchise history. The record is 18 wins, set by Quinn back in 1928.

The right-hander last pitched for the Athletics on Aug. 13. He was placed on the DL retroactive to that date after straining his left groin while doing flat-ground work on Friday, Aug. 16.

The 14-game winner and All-Star had scuffled badly before getting shelved, and his velocity had declined noticeably. Manager Bob Melvin has suggested that he was looking to get the veteran some rest.

That seems to be exactly what Colon has been doing for the past couple of weeks. He tossed a 38-pitch bullpen on Monday at Comerica Park, and after coming through that session with no health problems, he was deemed good to go.

Reliever Jerry Blevins said during his weekly interview with the “Rise Guys” on 95.7 The Game that Colon“had that life on his fastball.” It certainly will be interesting to see what kind of “life” Colon has on his two-seam against a powerful Detroit lineup.

In his two most recent times out, Colon went four innings and 2.2 innings respectively, and allowed five runs on seven hits on both occasions. The rapid drop off makes me think back to the humorous early season exchanges where the righty would jokingly ask Melvin how he was doing when the skipper came out to check on him during games.

In the past two weeks, Colon has thrown 38 pitches in the bullpen, and the team’s not worried about that?

Melvin pointed out to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that Colon generally doesn’t even throw bullpens in between starts. He just plays catch on the side. It’s yet another remarkable, if not terribly surprising insight into the historic season of the 16-year veteran. He’s the first 40-year-old to rack up 14 wins since Jamie Moyer in 2008.

Colon hasn’t pitched in a minor league game since 2009, so a rehab start was a non-starer. As Melvin likes to say, the team needs to save his bullets. Blevins said he’s “expecting to see the Bartolo of most of this season.”

That’d be great, but five to six innings and three runs wouldn’t be such a bad start either.

Karl Buscheck is an Oakland Athletics writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KarlBuscheck and add him to your network on Google.


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