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Folks are doubting Bartolo Colon

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Bob Klapisch writes about Bartolo Colon and the stem cell procedure he received.  He doesn’t go as far as John Harper did with Jose Bautista in terms of veiled accusations of PED use, but if you could find any evidence in his story that he believes Colon and his doctor when they say that Colon is clean, please point it out to me, because I can’t find it.

Most of the article is spent talking about Major League Baseball’s suspicions of Colon, even though no Major League Baseball official has been willing to go on record with any suspicions.  And this passage provides some pretty good guilt-by-association fodder:

Bud Selig will be looking for ways to govern players on hiatus or in semi-retirement, especially those living in other countries. Currently, there’s no way to stop anyone from loading up, whether it’s HGH or steroids. Colon, then, would fit neatly into the Yankees’ PED culture of the early 2000s. There was Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, Chuck Knoblauch, David Justice – and now Colon. But Purita is protesting any loose logic that indicts his client.

The alpha and omega of the case against Colon is that he worked with a doctor who has used HGH in his practice with other patients.  That’s it.  Of course, Marlon Byrd uses BALCO’s Victor Conte as his supplement provider and we don’t assume that he’s dirty, so there must be something else at play here.

The only thing I can figure: a guy we thought was finished turns out not to be finished after all.  Something which, once upon a time, we thought was a pretty uplifting story.  Guess we don’t think that anymore.

Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery could share Cubs’ rotation spot in 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Mike Montgomery #38 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon hasn’t selected a fifth starter for his 2017 rotation yet, but told reporters that he could envision left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery sharing the spot throughout the year. Neither pitcher was stretched out to the full 200-inning threshold last year, Maddon added, and suggested that the two could alternate innings out of the rotation and bullpen as needed (via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat).

Anderson, 29, was acquired by the Cubs in January on a $3.5 million deal. He’s coming off a rough 2016, during which he underwent back surgery and missed all but 11 1/3 innings of his last season with the Dodgers. His last full, healthy year in the majors yielded a 3.69 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with Los Angeles in 2015.

Montgomery, meanwhile, is vying for a rotation spot after pitching almost exclusively from the bullpen during the second half of the Cubs’ 2016 run. The 27-year-old lefty put up a 2.82 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings for Chicago last year, returning in the postseason to post a 3.14 ERA during the Cubs’ championship finish.

Maddon also mentioned the possibility of throwing a sixth starter into the mix, which would help prevent his other starters from getting overworked too early in the year. Either way, Anderson and Montgomery are expected to get a lot of looks early in spring training as rotation spots are finalized in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.

Michael Bourn to miss four weeks with a broken finger

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 6:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles looks out of the dugout as he waits to get on deck to bat during the sixth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 6, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Orioles’ center fielder Michael Bourn is expected to be sidelined for four weeks while he rehabs a broken ring finger on his right hand, according to reports from the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck. Bourn broke the finger while playing catch with a football after a spring training workout.

The veteran outfielder re-signed with the club earlier this week on a minor league deal and was prepared to compete for a bench role this season. He’s in line to receive a $2 million salary if he makes the major league roster and can make an additional $3.5 million in incentives based on a set number of plate appearances. Now, however, his chances of cracking the roster out of spring training look considerably diminished, as his current timetable gives him an approximate return date of March 25 if all goes well.

Bourn had an impressive, if short-lived run with the Orioles following his trade to Baltimore last August, batting .283/.358/.435 with two home runs and a .793 OPS in 55 PA. While still somewhat removed from the totals that brought him an All-Star nod with the Braves in 2012, his defensive chops should give the Orioles some depth in center once he’s healthy again.