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.
It was only a matter of time before rookie sensation Aaron Judge clubbed his first grand slam. The Yankees’ power-hitting outfielder went deep in the third inning of Sunday’s series finale against the Athletics, clearing the bases with his 16th home run of the season and first career grand slam.
According to Statcast, the ball traveled an estimated 378 feet into the right field bleachers, Judge’s second-shortest home run to date. It also marked his first homer since May 20 and sixth in the past month. Entering Sunday’s game, the 22-year-old outfielder is batting .316/.421/.665 with a league-leading 36 hits in 183 PA.
The blast padded the Yankees’ lead in the third inning, giving them a three-run edge over the A’s as Michael Pineda looked for his sixth win of the year. They currently lead 7-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
The Astros placed right-hander Charlie Morton on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right lat muscle, the team announced on Sunday. The move is retroactive to May 25, when Morton reported feeling some soreness after his start against the Tigers last Wednesday. He’ll be shut down from throwing for a week and will concede his roster spot to right-handed reliever Jordan Jankowski for the time being. The team has yet to announce a specific timetable for his return to the mound.
Morton, 33, shouldered a 4.06 ERA through his first 10 starts of the season. His 3.6 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 were accompanied by a significant uptick in velocity, averaging a career-best 96 m.p.h. on his fastball in recent outings. This is the righty’s first disabled list stint since 2016, when he missed all but four games of the season with a torn hamstring.
Without Morton, fellow right-hander Mike Fiers is expected to retain his place in the rotation. He was reportedly in line for a demotion to the bullpen after producing an abysmal 5.21 ERA through his first 46 2/3 innings of the season. Brad Peacock, who made a spotless spot start for for the Astros last Monday, will fill out the rotation during Morton’s DL stint.