Bartolo Colon hasn’t been linked to many teams as a free agent, but Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Diamondbacks are “showing interest” in him as a potential fifth starter.
After a year out of the big leagues Colon signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees last offseason and made a remarkable comeback, throwing 164 innings with a 4.00 ERA and 135/40 K/BB ratio at age 38.
However, he struggled down the stretch, going 0-4 with a 5.84 ERA in his final eight starts, and prior to last year Colon hadn’t thrown even 100 innings in a season since way back in 2005.
Arizona’s front four is set with Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Daniel Hudson, and Josh Collmenter, but adding Colon to compete with and perhaps delay the arrival of the Diamondbacks’ various young fifth-starter candidates makes sense. For a cheap one-year deal he can still be useful.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.