Colon Pitching Like it's 1999

Glenn Colton
Dave Shovein examines the Rangers' signing of Bartolo Colon and more in Monday's Offseason Lowdown

Lowdown: Bartolo Rides Again

Dave Shovein examines the Rangers' signing of Bartolo Colon and more in Monday's Offseason Lowdown

Bartolo Colon’s dominance dominates this week’s Week That Was.

Before I get started, I want to alert you that Colton and the Wolfman on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio with Rick Wolf and me is moving to a new time.  We will now be on every Tuesday night from 10pm to midnight eastern time.  Feel free to call in to comment on anything you like (or, heaven forbid, dislike) about the analysis and tips below or just to hear the Wolfman howl.  Oh, and as a special bonus, we will also take to the airwaves Thursday night from 5-7 pm eastern!

Ok, now back to the business at hand . . . .

Bartolo ColonBartolo Colon continues to defy reason, logic and all expectations.  Sunday, the Round Master of the Mound (admittedly I created that by playing off the Charles Barkley moniker Round Mound of Rebound but I digress) threw a complete game shutout, striking out 5 while giving up just 4 hits.  Overall, Colon has a sterling 2.52 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 20 starts.  Of course, the fantasy issue is whether the portly one can deliver at or near this level over the last 2+ months of the season. Tough question.  His numbers betray no reason to distrust him.  However, he is 40 and heading into the dog days of August.  This is just a gut call, but I believe in the big man and will be holding onto Bartolo.  The FIP says 3.37 and I believe that is a good estimate of what you can expect as an ERA for the last two months.

Miguel GonzalezMiguel Gonzalez continues to do his Bartolo Colon impression.  Last night, the other Miggy allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings against the stacked Texas Ranger lineup.  Over the last 60 days, the O’s hurler is 6-1 with a sweet 2.74 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.  Overall, the numbers are not quite as good, but still strong -- 3.34 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.  At this point, I am a believer.  His peripherals track very close to last year -- a year in which he posted a 3.25 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.  If there are those in your league who do not believe, make a deal now before they see the light and recognize why you are coveting thy leaguemate’s pitcher.

Brad ZieglerBrad Ziegler got the call in the 9th and recorded his 4th save of the season.  Anyone who really thinks the 33 year old soft-tosser (under 86 mph average fastball) will hold off Hernandez, Putz and Bell for the closer job all year deserves what he or she gets.  Of course, if you can get any decent value for Ziegler, you should do it now.  The window will close either because Gibson comes to his senses or because Ziegler starts pitching like a soft-tosser ill-equipped to handle 9th inning duties. You have been warned.

Carlos Pena:  In news that should not have surprised anyone, the Astros designated Carlos Pena for assignment.  Why a team that had no chance of winning gave Pena at-bats over 26 year old Brett Wallace is beyond me.  Not any more!  Thus far this year, Pena has done what Pena always does - hit for a bad average (.209), show some pop (8 HR in 277 AB) and play decent defense.  So, what next for Pena?  Well, where does every veteran who loses his job land these days?  You got it, my beloved Yankees.  I could easily see Pena signing on for part-time DH/1B duties and taking advantage of the short porch in Yankee Stadium.  Note that this is just my musing but should Pena land in NY and you need a few cheap HR in your deep league, you should at least consider Pena.

Melky Cabrera:  The Melk Man came off the DL this weekend.  Given his knee issues, he may not steal many bases but I see him as an upside play the rest of the year.  Thus far, Melky is hitting .278 with just 3 HR, 29 RBI and 34 runs.  The peripherals are the same as last year -- i.e., no erosion of contact rate or strike out rate and the BABIP is consistent with career numbers.  Given the offense around him in Toronto, stable peripherals, the park in which he plays and the fact that he has a history of solid play, he should perform better over the last 2 months than he has thus far, thereby making him a potential bargain. 

Chris ColabelloOrdinarily, 29 year olds who are still toiling in the minors warrant little attention.  However, pay attention to this:  Chris Colabello has hit .354 with 24 homers in half of a season at Triple-A (and no, not the hitter haven PCL).  The Twins are going nowhere, Justin Morneau may get traded, Josh Willingham is older and hurting and the Twins may as well find out if they have a true late bloomer in Colabello.  Ron Gardenhire says he will play and it is Gardy who makes out the lineup card.  Those in AL-only leagues should speculate here.  It should not cost you much at all.

Justin Verlander:  Justin Verlander was hit hard again yesterday by the usually offensively challenged Royals.  What gives?  Thus far this year, Verlander is actually hurting his owners with an inflated 1.37 WHIP.  There are real reasons to worry.  The average fastball velocity is way down while the walks are way up.  On the bright side, his BABIP has been inflated and normalization should lead to some better results.  Advice: If you own Verlander, do not panic.  That said, if you can get 85-90 percent of what you paid for him, do it.  At 92 mph, he is just not the same pitcher he was at 95+

And last and but not least, Schultz says:  “For true roto-junkies, the All-Star break serves as a painful period of withdrawal. With the addition of the extra off-day, three of the four days of the All-Star break mark the only periods of time when the 4 major sports have nothing to offer, leaving sports fans to roam the streets idly or watch more reruns of The Big Bang Theory. Roto-pundits like your humble narrator here spend the time compiling lists for no other reason than people like reading lists. So with little occurring in the week that just was, The Week That Was proudly presents the 2013 Mid-Season All-Schultz Awards.

THE APRIL FOOLS TEAM. Compiling this roster based upon their April performance might have others called you the titular fool of this team.
C   John Buck (NYM): In all fairness, everyone knew that the RBI wrecking machine had an expiration date. At least they should have.

1B Mark Reynolds (CLE): A remarkable athlete, Reynolds had all of Ohio forgetting that the wind of his bat can rival those that blow off of Lake Erie

2B Kelly Johnson (TB): In early May, Johnson looked like the next Bay Ray to find the Fountain of Youth in Florida. It faded.

SS Yuniesky Betancourt (MIL): The light hitting Brewer started 2013 with a power surge unlike any in his prior career. Unsurprisingly, it didn't last.

3B Juan Francisco/Chris Johnson (ATL): The platoon at third in Atlanta looked to be a slaughterhouse of power. Half of it now resides in Milwaukee, the other half has regressed to his norm.

OF Justin Upton (ATL): Jussie Up quickly fell of that 115 home run pace, didn't he?

OF Coco Crisp (OAK): At the outset, the A's outfielder looked to be a five category tour-de-force. Ultimately, the law that there be no true Oakland roto-monster took hold.

OF Michael Morse (SEA): Right out of the gate, there seemed to be a three-headed monster chasing the 2013 home run crown: Cabrera and Davis are still chasing the MVP crown, Morse is MIA

SP Jaime Garcia (STL): Despite rumors of arm problems, Garcia came out of the gate looking fine, putting up a 3-1 record with a 2.50 ERA. All went downhill quickly and he'll return in 2014.

RP Jose Valverde (DET): Not really an April burnout, but Valverde's roller coaster ride from couch to closer to wherever Papa Grande is now should have made all of his owners deservedly dizzy.

Travis Hafner (NYY): Start spreading the news, Pronk's shoulder is hurting today, it moves to his back, he's going away.

The CHECK OUT THE BIG BRAIN ON BRAD TEAM. Roto-leagues aren't won by paying full value for Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw, they are won by getting the same stats at a lower cost. Samuel L. Jackson will unlikely shoot you for claiming you got this team right in 2013.

C   Jason Castro (HOU): Only 6 other catchers have more home runs and JP Arencibia needs to get on base from now to August to reach Castro's batting average

1B Chris Davis (BAL): His .315, 37 HRs and 93 RBIs out-distances any rational projection for the Rangers outcast in 2013. He's Miguel Cabrera at 1/15 the price

2B Matt Carpenter (STL): One of the major cogs in the Cardinals resurgence, .326 9 HR 48 RBI 73 R from a second basemen is fantasy nirvana.

SS Jean Segura (MIL): With little pre-season fanfare, the Brewers shortstop has turned into the next coming of Jose Reyes, well, the version of Reyes we all hoped would show up someday.

3B Josh Donaldson (OAK): Waiver wire fodder that puts up 16 HR and 61 RBI while hitting .310, you're playing with house money in the second half

OF Starling Marte (PIT): Predominantly overlooked as unripe fruit in the pre-season, Marte should put up 20-20 numbers while challenging for 50 steals.

OF Raul Ibanez (SEA): When a 41 year old signed as veteran insurance threatens to hit his age in home runs, James Woods has found a piece a candy.

OF Michael Cuddyer (COL): At age 34, Cuddyer's .329, 16 HR, 55 RBI rivals his career bests. Phenomenal production from a late round pickup.

SP Bartolo Colon (OAK): It's old folks time at the Mid-Season All Schultz awards; setting aside the winds, Bartolo's ERA and WHIP defy logic but seems to have legs. Jeff Locke and Patrick Corbin also deserve mention here.

RP Jason Grilli (PIT): Apparently Gary Sheffield knew this was coming but the rest of us didn't. Perhaps we should just start counting on Pirates closers to notch 40+ saves per year. We'll all stop being surprised when it happens.

The LIKE A ROCK TEAM. With the investment put into these players, they are surely sinking your team like a stone and not making you think of Bob Seger or Chevy truck.

C   Pick Your Montero (ARZ/SEA): Like Choose Your Own Adventure with each one leading to the bottom of your league's standings.

1B Ike Davis (NYM): No one that liked Ike in 2013 expected him to spend time in AAA telling the youngsters about that year he hit 27 big league taters.

2B Josh Rutledge (COL): Parlayed a fantastic September into . . . well, nothing. The thin air seemed to make him sleepy and need the minors.

SS Starlin Castro (CHI): Manny Machado's numbers were expected here, not a .240, 6 HR 29 RBI with 7 steal line.

3B Pablo Sandoval (SF): Following in the footsteps of David Freese and Livan Hernandez, Kung Fu Panda is yet another example as to why you never go in big on the recent post-season hero.

OF Yoenis Cespedes (OAK):During the Home Run Derby, you could hear every single one of his owners groan with each home run that doesn't count

OF B.J. Upton (ATL): It's a family affair with the All-Schultz lists. Two Uptons have played 7 months of baseball and had one good month between them. $75 million well spent.

OF Josh Hamilton (ANA): The bright lights and Hollywood big city have not been kind to the once (and possibly future) roto-stud. An atrocity of a start on the west coast.

SP Matt Cain (SF): Always a good sign when everyone starts questioning whether your healthy A-List starter is nursing a hidden injury.

RP John Axford (MIL): One of a small handful of closers to pitch their way out of the role. Likely the only one with no chance to pitch his way back in.

Martin Prado (ARZ): So much position eligibility, so disappointing at all of them.

The MIGHTY OAK TEAM. These players will soon be growing roots with their current roto-teams. If you don't pry them away now, you likely never will.

C   Evan Gattis (ATL): It's the Josh Hamilton story with less heroin.

1B Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ): The resurrection of Jeff Bagwell resides in the deserts of Arizona.

2B Jason Kipnis (CLE): All that's missing for the new King Of Roto Second Basemen is Laurence Fishburne intoning "He's starting to believe."

SS Everth Cabrera (SD): Speed kills and the Padres infielder has the potential to singlehandedly change stolen base standings.

3B Manny Machado (BAL): While his value would be higher at shortstop, very few are mas macho than Machado when it comes to hit production.

OF Domonic Brown (PHI): All of Do Bro's previous owner's that have been waiting for him to live up to his potential are either seething with envy or ripe to trade for him like he's Miguel Cabrera.

OF Wil Myers (TB): Once Myers gets his feet wet in the Major Leagues, the power he's exhibited at all levels will start coming through. He's a potential monster and we're in the Monsters University stage.

OF Yasiel Puig (LA): His present numbers are surely unsustainable, but the Cuban sensation's talent is undeniable. Probably shouldn't be on this list as none of his roto-owners are trading him under any circumstances.

SP Matt Harvey (NYM): The young Mets hurler is rightfully drawing comparisons to Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden. Cream always rises to the top.

RP Kenley Jansen (LAD): The Dodgers closer of the future's time is now. Once he digs in, he won't be giving up the job anytime soon.” 

Response:   Awesome job and entertaining to boot.  I know I need to make fun of Schultz more than I have been recently but I cannot this week.  Nice job buddy.

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