The other night Bartolo became the all-time winningest pitcher from Latin America, passing Dennis Martinez on the all-time list. Given that he’s 45 and that other milestones like 300 wins are not in the cards for him, one might think that there are no more realistic worlds left to conquer for Colon, leading to his retirement after this season.
Not necessarily, says Colon. From Levi Weaver’s story about Colon in The Athletic which, in addition to stuff about a donkey named Pancho — you just gotta read it — includes this:
“There is one thing that I look for: Juan Marichal has more innings than me. For Dominicans, I want to beat him also, and I think I have about fifty innings left.”
He has 62 to go, in fact: Marichal leads 3,507 to 3,445 after Colon’s seven-inning performance. He’s unlikely to reach that goal this season. But next?
One has to think he will at least be given a chance. In terms of durability Colon has been Colon this year — he’s likely to finish with around 180 innings pitched — and he continues to not walk dudes, handing out only 1.5 free passes per nine innings. He is likewise having an overall better year than he did last year. That’s not great production — his 5.18 ERA and 5.21 FIP is below average — but there are worse dudes hanging out in the back end of rotations or working out of bullpens, particularly for some non-contenders. If you just wanted someone to eat some innings while you kinda sorta mail in your season, you could do worse than a 46-year-old Bartolo Colon. Especially on a minor league deal next spring.
Who knows if he’ll be pitching in the 2019 season, but I bet we see him in either or Florida or Arizona giving it a try come February.