Bartolo Colon was so-so in his spring debut last Saturday against the Phillies, but he actually looked pretty good against the Red Sox last night, striking out five over three scoreless innings.
The Red Sox didn’t bring most of their regulars since they were on the road — so that means no Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia or Kevin Youkilis, among others — but it was still an impressive outing for the 37-year-old right-hander. He threw 35 out of 43 pitches for strikes, sat in the low 90s with his fastball and had good movement on his pitches.
Colon made an important statement last night, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told George A. King III of the New York Post that the competition has just begun.
“It’s going to take time,” Cashman said. “I know New York doesn’t have patience, but I am from Kentucky.”
Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia and Sergio Mitre — the other candidates for the final two rotation spots — have combined for nine scoreless innings so far this spring.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.