Bartolo Colon aiming to put himself in select company

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Before a public health disaster at O.co Coliseum sent players scrambling, Athletics starter Bartolo Colon pitched well against the Mariners, holding the opposition to two runs over seven innings on eight hits and zero walks. Colon lowered his ERA to 2.89 on the season and improved to 9-2.

If, somehow, Colon manages to keep his ERA below 3.00 by the end of the season (Sabermetric statistics indicate he won’t), he would join a select group of pitchers to toss enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and post a sub-3.00 ERA at the age of 40 or older. The last to do it was Roger Clemens in 2005, who put up a 1.87 ERA in 211.1 innings with the Astros. Both Clemens and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2004. Prior to those two, Nolan Ryan did it with the Rangers in 1991.

The full list:

Player Year ERA Age Tm Lg IP
Bartolo Colon 2013 2.92 40 OAK AL 83.1
Roger Clemens 2005 1.87 42 HOU NL 211.1
Randy Johnson 2004 2.60 40 ARI NL 245.2
Roger Clemens 2004 2.98 41 HOU NL 214.1
Nolan Ryan 1991 2.91 44 TEX AL 173.0
Rick Reuschel 1989 2.94 40 SFG NL 208.1
Nolan Ryan 1987 2.76 40 HOU NL 211.2
Warren Spahn 1963 2.60 42 MLN NL 259.2
Connie Marrero 1952 2.88 41 WSH AL 184.1
Johnny Niggeling 1944 2.32 40 WSH AL 206.0
Ted Lyons 1942 2.10 41 CHW AL 180.1
Jack Quinn 1928 2.90 44 PHA AL 211.1
Pete Alexander 1927 2.52 40 STL NL 268.0
Eddie Plank 1916 2.33 40 SLB AL 235.2
Cy Young 1910 2.53 43 CLE AL 163.1
Cy Young 1909 2.26 42 CLE AL 294.1
Cy Young 1908 1.26 41 BOS AL 299.0
Cy Young 1907 1.99 40 BOS AL 343.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/16/2013.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.