The San Francisco Giants have had a tough time fielding a viable five-man starting rotation this season. Could Bartolo Colon help?
On April 4, 1997, a 23-year-old pitcher from the Dominican Republic made his MLB debut for the Cleveland Indians. His name was Bartolo Colon, and he allowed four earned runs across his first five innings. An inauspicious start to a career that would blossom into something truly beautiful.
I was born three days earlier, on April 1, 1997. That means that for the first 21 years of my life, only three days were Bartolo-less.
Growing up as a young baseball fan, Bartolo was always there. His mug was a mainstay of the baseball card collection that’s still under my bed. His massive frame was pixelated perfectly on the MVP Baseball 2005 game disc I used more than I’d care to admit. As I grew older, he was the meme that kept on giving to baseball twitter and my top choice to fill a bench spot on my fantasy team.
Then, after a so-so season with the Texas Rangers in 2018 where he was still able to pitch 146 innings as a 45-year-old, it was over.
Big Bart hasn’t thrown a pitch this season, and he’s not currently on a team either.
However, it might not be completely over just yet, as recent rumors that he might be eyeing a return—including one dispelled report that he might be heading to Detroit—are mounting.
It appears he is actively looking for work, and that brings us to the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants are in dire need of pitching, and it’s only going to get worse with Madison Bumgarner all but certain to be traded this summer.
At some point, you look at Bartolo Colon and say: “Why not?”
We’ll start with the downside.
Adding a 46-year-old to the mix rather than giving some of your young pitchers a chance to prove themselves doesn’t seem like the best move for a team in the midst of rebuilding.
The upside? Well, it’s everything else.
Attendance would certainly be boosted, and fans would have a new, yet familiar face to rally around. Someone has to eat up innings on the staff, especially if Bumgarner is moved, and Colon has proven more than capable of that over the years.
In theory, Colon can be used anywhere on the pitching staff: Starter, middle relief, long relief, opener, heck even as a closer if Will Smith gets moved in July.
I know there will come a day when I will have to move and learn to love baseball without the presence of “Big Sexy,” but I’m not ready yet. Signing him would not just be a win for me or for the Giants, it would be a win for everyone who has ever loved baseball.
In short: Bartolo Colon to the San Francisco Giants? Why not.