February 7, 2014

Can Colon Tutor The Younger Pitchers?

Bartolo Colon was one of the Mets' best offseason acquisitions in my opinion. Coming off of an 18 win campaign last year in Oakland, Colon is still an extremely effective pitcher at 40 years old, commanding a 2.65 ERA in 2013 and throwing over 190 innings. While it remains to be seen how long he can continue to post these types of numbers, the deal he signed was pretty friendly, tying him to the Mets for two years and $20 million. His greatest value, however, may not come on the mound, but during practices and bullpen sessions.

The Mets are chock full of young pitching talent, from Wheeler and Harvey who are already in their rotation to the minor leaguers who will be at Spring Training. Who better to have around than Colon, with 15 seasons and 189 wins under his belt? Despite a slightly checkered past concerning PED's, his experience in the majors and on the mound could prove invaluable in helping to shape some of the younger arms in the organization. Colon is regularly reported as being liked and respected in team clubhouses, and could use his influence to help mature a young staff. A steady, veteran presence and advice could prove to be an effective form of teaching for the likes of Syndergaard, Mejia, and Montero when they are able to spend time with him honing their respective crafts.

The best part of the signing, however, may be the opportunity to see Colon on the basepaths. Having not played in the National League since his time with the Expos in 2002, I will treasure every single time he gets a walk or a hit. That's good theater.

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