“Big Sexy” had entered the season needing just a repeat of his last few seasons with the New York Mets in order to become the winningest pitcher of Dominican descent. Needing 11 wins to pass Juan Marichal entering the season, Colon did not quite make the mark, and he will now be in limbo as far as whether he’ll be able to reach that mark by finding a team in 2018 to give him the requisite starts to make the final 4 victories he still needs.
Colon wasn’t originally even a thought for the Minnesota Twins in 2017, but when Hector Santiago struggled starting in mid-May and injury struck down other members of the rotation, the Twins were willing to take a flyer on Colon when he cleared waivers after going 2-8 with an 8.14 ERA over 63 innings with the Atlanta Braves.
Signed to a minor league deal, Colon was able to be a positive influence in Rochester on a number of the Twins young pitchers and players before showing he was ready for a major league call. His first start was a fill-in against the powerful Yankee lineup, and he kept the ball in the yard, going 4 innings, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits, but not walking anyone and striking out 3 Yankee hitters. That earned him more starts, and after his first 5 starts with the Twins, Colon had throwin 31 1/3 innings with a 4.02 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and a 3/16 BB/K ratio. Not numbers that would blow you away, but giving a team struggling to get consistent performances out of the bullpen at the time a break by going deep into games each time out.
However, it was not going to continue that way through the entire season. After a solid start on September 5th against the Rays, Colon went through a 4 start stretch where he only was able to throw 12 innings, allowing 18 runs. He did finish the season with an impressive performance against the Tigers in the season finale, with a very nice send off that ended with Colon embracing former Cleveland Indians teammate Omar Vizquel, now the first base coach with the Tigers.
Colon will not be back with the Twins, but he has indicated that he would like to return for one more season at 44 years old, most likely focusing on the Dominican wins record.
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