Bartolo Colon defies physics.
No, really. How Colon, who hardly as the physique of a stereotypical Major League Baseball player, has been so dominant defies every sense of logic that exists. At 40 years old, the right-hander pitched 190 1/3 innings of 2.65 ERA baseball for the Oakland Athletics, and when asked recently, Colon said he wants to pitch at least another three seasons at the big league level.
This season, he went 18-6 for the American League Western Division champions – his highest win total since the 2005 season, when he won 21 games with the then-Anaheim Angels en route to a Cy Young Award.
After that season, he began to decline – rapidly. Winning just fourteen games total from 2006-2010, it appeared that the former Cleveland Indians’ ace was approaching the end of his career that began in 1997.
However, in hopes of addressing a variety of shoulder and elbow ailments, Colon opted to receive a stem cell treatment in the Dominican Republic after the 2010 season. Since then, Colon has went 36-15 in three seasons – two of which were spent in Oakland.
He also became entangled in the ever-expanding PED scandal last season, serving a 50-game suspension for his role in it. At that point, it appeared that, again, Colon could be facing the end of his career as a big league pitcher.
Yet again, Colon came out and answered claims about his being overweight and washed-up with a masterful campaign that will likely lead to a top five-finish in the American League Cy Young balloting. An 18-6 record, a 2.65 ERA three shutouts and an All-Star appearance later, the critics are silenced and Colon is looking ahead.
He made just $3 million this year in base salary, and that figure will likely increase next season due to his outstanding 2013 performance. However, MLB Trade Rumors questions whether or not he will return to Oakland due to the plethora of young pitching talent general manager Billy Beane has, once again, developed within the organization.
That being said, it appears very likely Colon is on a Major League Baseball club come next spring when he will begin his 17th season at the big league level. Defying age, beating the odds and silencing critics, Bartolo Colon just keeps on rolling.