Bartolo Colon only needs to pass his physical before he can officially become an Oakland Athletic. When he does, know this will be a perfect fit for the 2012 A's.
Let that first paragraph sink in for a bit, process it, give it a little spin-a-roo in the ol' noggin. Have you thought about it? Good. Now, before you start screaming at your computer about how wrong I am, read a few paragraphs down and then you can get on with the yelling.
How about I start us off with some trivia: How many current Oakland Athletics starters threw a shutout in 2011? The answer? Only two: possible opening day starter, Brandon McCarthy, threw one, while our pending addition, Colon, threw the other. None of the five outgoing A's starters (Gonzalez, Cahill, Outman, Moscoso, and Harden) could boast even one combined shutout among them during the 2011 MLB season.
A shutout alone does not mean much, especially over the course of an entire year. Take a look at Bartolo's 2011 numbers, adjust them a little bit for pitching in Oakland, and you will find he did better in most cases than the A's did collectively. Colon's 2.2 BB/ 9 IP and 3.38 SO/BB indicate good pitch selection and great control of the baseball, both things the Athletics were looking to improve this off-season. His 4.00 ERA was not impressive, but pitching in the hurler's haven that is the Coliseum could help his numbers across the board.
Colon also brings his experience to the staff. He is a full decade older than the next starter, 28 year-old Dallas Braden. Bartolo turned in a healthy 2011 campaign for the Yankees, and had his best season since winning the Cy Young award in 2005. If he had been an Athletic last season, would anyone have balked if he had been slid into the 4th slot? Probably not, right?
The A's need someone who could keep the walks down, while at the same time providing mentoring and leadership for a young, rebuilding staff. Colon has a chance to fit somewhere into the middle of the rotation and, if healthy, provide consistency in a season that might see a lot of pitchers experiencing the extreme ups and downs of a young MLB career.
There is one more upside to Colon signing with Oakland. Most stadiums nowadays keep their fans about a half-mile away from the star players. Some teams charge a hundreds dollars for a signed baseball from a Cy Young winner. Other teams even charge a hundreds dollars for a signed ball from the last guy on the bench. The setup of the O.co Coliseum gives fans a unique chance to interact with players before games and 2012 will be no different. So, if you want a chance to get a Cy Young winner's autograph at an A's game this year, all you really have to do is ask.
(follow me on Twitter! @justplainaj)
Would Bartolo Colon be a good fit for the A's?
Yes (42 votes)
No (14 votes)
56 total votes