Five times this season Jake Arrieta has thrown at least six innings and allowed zero or one run, but unfortunately he’s given up at least four runs in his other 13 starts and the Orioles have finally seen enough.
Arrieta’s latest clunker was last night versus the Angels, as he failed to make it out of the fourth inning and fell to 3-9 with a 6.19 ERA before the Orioles demoted him to Triple-A.
Baltimore showed quite a bit of patience with Arrieta because he’s a former top prospect who’s still just 26 years old, every few weeks he’s hurled a gem, and his 89/31 K/BB ratio in 101 innings overall is actually pretty solid, but at some point a contending team can’t keep throwing away games.
He’ll be back in the second half, although with a 5.27 ERA in 58 career starts it’s worth wondering whether the Orioles should see if Arrieta’s raw stuff would play up better in the bullpen.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.