After Bartolo Colon struggled in his first start for the Twins last week against the Yankees, rumors swirled that he planned to retire after his next major league start. His next major league start is, of course, his start tonight against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. I read Colon’s statements at the time and argued that no, he didn’t actually say he planned to retire—at least as long as the Twins kept him on their roster.
Well, there is now a very, very real chance the Twins will DFA Bartolo Colon after tonight’s game.
The reason being that the Twins now have to make two spots on the roster (and potentially three) after their late-afternoon trade with the Braves to acquire pitcher Jaime Garcia and backup-backup catcher Anthony Recker. The Twins also have make space for Rule 5 pitcher Justin Haley, who reaches the thirty-day limit of his rehab assignment tomorrow. The team already annouced they will wait until after tonight’s game to make the moves.
The Twins might just assign Anthony Recker to Triple-A, but that still means they need to make two spots on the 25-man roster. And they are both for pitchers. Starting pitchers, or at least long-relief guys. Bartolo Colon is basically the fifth pitcher right now. He has a 8.19 ERA over 67.0 innings pitched this year. He’s 44 years old, and he said he’d probably wouldn’t attempt another comeback if his deal with the Twins doesn’t pan out. Tonight, he has to face the best team in baseball.
Here’s the point (if it isn’t obvious by now): There is a really, really strong chance tonight will be Bartolo Colon’s final MLB game ever.
It’s not a done deal, though. The Twins could make other moves, like optioning Kyle Gibson and struggling reliever Buddy Boshers. Ryan Pressly still has options too. None of those moves, however, will create the necessary spots on the 40-man roster...
Frankly, it’s not looking good for Big Sexy.
Colon faces Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu tonight. If Ryu has any morals, he knows what he has to do—toss a softball to Bartolo right over the plate, just so we can see that magnificent beast hit a long ball one last time.
Or just try to hit one. I’ll settle for that, too.
UPDATE [6:57 pm CT]:
The Twins have apparently decided to return Justin Haley to the Red Sox rather than make space for him on the roster. This move clears up a 40-man roster spot, which Rhett Bollinger reportedly said was for Anthony Recker. This bodes well for Colon sticking around longer, but he’s still not in the clear, as the Twins still need to make a 25-man roster spot for Jaime Garcia as well.