After coming into camp as a longshot on a Minor League deal, the former Cy Young Award winner has dominated this spring.
Analysis: Last night’s outing against the Rays most likely sealed the deal in the competition for the Yankees fifth starter job, a position that has come down to a dogfight with fellow veteran Freddy Garcia. It appears that young Ivan Nova has the fourth spot locked up, so the two are battling it out for the last job available. Retiring 18 of the 20 batters faced yesterday, Colon looked outstanding while racking up five strikeouts over six innings. Many of his 64 pitches thrown, 52 for strikes, were clocked in the 91-93 MPH range with a bevy of impressive changeups and cutters mixed in. Nobody is expecting Colon to return to his All-Star form, but so far his command and overall stuff has caused the Yankees brass to reminisce on the past. A 2.40 ERA to go along with 17 strikeouts and only 1 walk over 15 innings will do that.
Projection: Colon’s performance over the past two weeks has been surprising to most, including myself. You cannot argue with the results, however, and he has earned a coveted spot in the Yankees rotation. Garcia’s recent struggles have only cemented this projection even further. Although both could essentially wind up on the Opening Day roster, Garcia’s spot would be as a long man at best. Barring an injury between now and then, bet on Bartolo Colon starting every fifth day for the Yankees. The chances of him staying healthy for the entire season are somewhat slim, though, so he isn’t worth picking up too early. As a late round sleeper, however, Colon could prove to be a very valuable acquisition for your Fantasy squad during the early months of 2011.