You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Bartolo Colon on his 9.20 spring ERA: Don’t worry, I’ll be ready


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Bartolo Colon threw 80 pitches in just 3 2/3 innings, gave up eight hits and six earned runs in a 7-5 loss to the Tigers and saw his ERA climb to 9.20.

Then the oldest active player in baseball said, basically, don’t worry. It’s just practice. And his manager agreed.

“Right now I’m just working on my pitches, working on that kind of stuff,” Colon said through an interpreter. “But I’m ready. I’m ready for the fight.”

Colon often refers to the 162-game season as the fight. He’ll be 44 in April and is entering his 20th season, with his official Braves debut scheduled to come in the season-opening road series against his former team, the Mets.

“I think he’s fine,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I don’t worry about a guy like that. I’m sure he’s trying to hit location and paint (corners) and all that, and sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t.”

Snitker also noted that were it not for a one-out bad-hop single past second baseman Brandon Phillips for the second hit of the four-run second inning, the Braves could have turned an inning-ending double play, “and he gets out of the inning and we’re all talking about how great he did, really.”

In his past two starts, Colon has been charged with 16 hits, 11 earned runs and four walks in 6 2/3 innings with five strikeouts.

“I’m not too worried about the results out there, as far as the hits and runs,” said Colon, who saw six of the first seven Tigers reach base in the second inning on four hits, a walk and an error by shortstop Chase d’Arnaud. “The most important thing is that I feel well and I feel healthy and I feel good.”

His best spring start was March 8 against the Phillies, when he gave up one hit, one run and two walks with three strikeouts in three innings. Colon figured to be up to five or six innings by now, but the usually efficient right-hander ran up such a high pitch count early Saturday that he didn’t complete four.

“He went 80 pitches, that’s the thing,” Snitker said, smiling as he related what he’d said jokingly to pitching coach Chuck Hernandez. “I told Chuck, he’s got two more starts and we’ll have him up to 120 before (spring training ends).”

He pitched a perfect third inning with two strikeouts before giving up a final run in the fourth on a pair of singles and an RBI double by Nicholas Castellanos that ended Colon’s outing. He has allowed 22 hits, 15 runs and six walks with nine strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings over four starts, and will have two more Grapefruit League starts before the regular season.

Snitker said Colon wouldn’t make his next start until next Sunday (March 26). That would put him on schedule to start a March 31 exhibition game against the Yankees at SunTrust Park, then the second game in New York against the Mets on April 5, provided he stays on regular rest.

“Right now I’m just taking this time to work on the things that I want to work on,” Colon said. “So until the lights in the big new stadium come on, I’m not too worried about the results.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Swanson focused on ‘process’ during spring training
Swanson focused on ‘process’ during spring training

By his own admission, Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson came into his second big league camp differently than last year, though his approach remains the same. “I don’t think the approach is different, just the circumstances are different,” said Swanson before the Braves faced the Mets on Sunday. “I try to always be the best version...
Braves sign reliever Hernandez; Chapman impresses
Braves sign reliever Hernandez; Chapman impresses

Just because spring camp closes down this week doesn’t mean the Braves are winnowing down their bullpen options. They appear, in fact, doing the opposite. The team signed right-handed reliever David Hernandez to a non-roster contract Sunday after San Francisco released him two days ago. Hernandez, 31, was 3-4 with a 3.84 ERA in 70 games for Philadelphia...
Braves’ Dickey has best spring outing, says he’s ready
Braves’ Dickey has best spring outing, says he’s ready

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – R.A. Dickey said all spring that he wasn’t concerned with results in Grapefruit League games, that it was only about how he felt in preparing for the season. The Braves knuckleballer said that when he got knocked around in several starts and said it again Saturday when he had his best spring performance. Dickey...
Cabrera could begin season on DL for recent elbow soreness
Cabrera could begin season on DL for recent elbow soreness

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – An arm that routinely fires 100-mph fastballs is too valuable to put at risk, so it won’t be surprising if Braves reliever Mauricio Cabrera begins the season on the disabled list, even though he said his sore elbow felt a lot better Saturday. “I had something similar in the past and I think it was a little...
Braves release veteran reliever Blaine Boyer
Braves release veteran reliever Blaine Boyer

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Braves released veteran reliever Blaine Boyer on Saturday as the field narrowed for the final bullpen spots and the Atlanta native’s bid to make the team as a non-roster invitee ended. Boyer, 35, had a 10.00 ERA and .371 opponents’ average in eight Grapefruit League appearances, allowing 13 hits, 10 runs...
More Stories