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Oft-Injured SP Profile: Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon made seven starts with the Red Sox last season, collecting 39 innings, and pitching quite well. Colon’s 4.34 FIP was below American League average for starters (4.48) and his strikeout and walk rates were near vintage Colon levels. As you can see below from the two pretty graphs, Colon struck out about 6.20 per nine and walked a touch over 2.30.

Colon’s fastball sat around 92 and he prominently used it, just like old times, along with a slider and change. The Red Sox and Colon had a falling out when they planned to move him to the bullpen, so if a team does want the 36-year-old it’s going to be in a starter’s role. Unlike some other injured starters we’ll talk about, Colon has actually pitched in each of the past three seasons, and combined for about 70 innings last year. Despite having an even-split of fly and ground balls, Colon is a safe bet to allow a homerun per nine innings.

Back stiffness did land Colon on the disabled list, so a team considering signing Colon should anticipate at least one DL trip. The Sox paid Colon on a split contract, 1.25 million for his time in the majors, that’s a bargain, especially if he can eclipse the 100 inning mark. That’s no guarantee, but Colon is perhaps the safest bet of any injured pitchers. We also know that his stuff hasn’t been lost through injury, getting 6% swinging strikes, only a percent lower than 2005 total.

Colon’s worthy of another shot, the question is if anyone will give it to him.