Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Colon has become embarrassment, Braves can't let this continue


(Updated: 11:55 p.m.) Bartolo Colon's bobblehead night is Friday. At this point, putting one of those figurines on the mound would be a better option for the Braves than the jelly-bellied real thing.

Colon officially passed into a new dimension in Braves' history Monday night. He has transitioned from being a horrible signing this season to one of the worst in franchise history.  I think even B.J. Upton is covering his eyes.

Facing the major league's worst team, the Philadelphia Phillies, Colon was punched for three runs in the first inning, and six more before manager Brian Snitker finally went to the mound to sweep up his ashes with two outs in the fourth and the score 7-0. The Braves went on to lose 11-4.

Colon (2-7) was charged with eight runs and seven hits in only 3 2/3 innings, including a home run, four doubles and two walks. The starting pitcher, who signed a one year $12.5 million contract, saw his ERA balloon to a cartoonish 7.78, by far the worst of any qualifying pitcher in the major leagues. His numbers are even worse over his last eight starts: Opponents have hit .380 (63 for 166) with eight homers and scored 39 earned runs in 35 innings for an ERA of 10.03.

Snitker for the first time would not commit to Colon making his next scheduled start on Saturday against the New York Mets: "We’re going to think about it going forward. We haven’t made a decision yet about the next one."

Asked if Colon might be moved to the bullpen, Snitker said: "That’s something I really haven’t had a chance to talk to (pitching coach) Chuck (Hernandez) or anybody about. We’ll get together and discuss the whole thing."

Colon said he has never had such a poor start in his career -- the numbers confirm it -- but that "physically and mentally I still feel good."

As for the uncertainty of his next start, he said: "I really don’t have any thoughts on it. They’re there to make the decisions. It’s their call. We’re the ones here to execute and I’ll follow through on whatever they say."

Would a bullpen session help?

Colon: "Whatever decision they make, I’ll accept it and I’ll following through with it

 

Colon is 2-7 in 12 starts. So he has made $6.25 million per win. His performance Monday was especially bad because it came against the Phillies (20-35) and opened an important stretch for the team (which will play 18 of 21 at home). For more on the game and why the Braves may be moving closer to a veteran dump before the trade deadline, click here.

There's no reason Colon should make his next start. If he pitches against the Mets Saturday, it might just be to spare the organization the embarrassment of him not being around for his bobblehead giveaway on Friday night.

A recap of Monday's carnage:

• First inning: With one out, Colon allowed a double to Odubel Herrara, an RBI single to Aaron Altherr and a two-run homer to Tommy Joseph (3-0).

• Third inning: Herrara hit his second double in as many at-bats and scored on a double by Joseph (4-0).

• Fourth inning: A one-out walk was followed by catcher Andrew Knapp's double (5-0), a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a two-run single by Cesar Hernandez (7-0). Snitker finally gave up all hope. He pulling Colon (who walked off the mound to a mixture of grumbles and light booing) and put in Sam Freeman. Then Herrara hit a two-run homer to male it 9-0 (one of those runs being charged to Colon).

Herrara started the night hitting .234. He might want to take up residency here.

Reminder: The Braves ended their previous homestand with a Colon grease fire:  a 9-4 loss to Pittsburgh on May 25. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits in five innings. So in his last two starts at SunTrust, Colon has allowed15 runs on 17 hits with five walks and two homers in 8 2/3 innings. Good way to endear yourself to the home fans.

The Braves have fallen behind early in several games this season.

"It wears you down," Snitker said.

EARLIER: If Braves don't get it together, veteran dump will begin soon

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.