Bartolo Colon is the Mets ageless wonder

New York Mets veteran starter is turning back the clock and enjoying a renaissance season.

There is an old saying that age is just a number. Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon would concur with such a statement, because the 42-year-old has defied both age and expectations to get off to a fabulous start to his 2015 season.

While his hulking 283 pound-plus frame, which makes him look more like a baseball version of Jabba the Hut, and advanced age would give any unassuming fan the perception that Colon’s best days are far behind him, they would be greatly mistaken.

It is true he’s no longer the flame thrower who broke out with the Cleveland Indians back in the mid-1990s, but the guy has done something most never do, he has found a way to withstand the years. Whether it were injuries with three different teams from 2006-2009, being left for dead by a number of organizations like the Yankees, and steroid allegations with the A’s back in 2012, Colon has found new life in Queens.

When he signed a 2-year, $20 million deal with the Mets in 2014 it was easy to scuff at it. Yet the guy has started every game he has been asked to in a Mets uniform. Has won 17 games in one-plus years, and is off to one of the best starts in his career that even trump his 21-win season in 2005 with the Angles and his 20-win season in 2002 with the Indians.

How did he do it? 17-years of experience certainly helps. Colon knows how to pitch. Colon has only two pitches, a two-seam and four-seam fastball; he has learned how to put those fastballs in the right place at the right time. He has clearly spent time studying hitters twice his age, found their weakness and exploits it.

Take Giancarlo Stanton as an example. The key is to pitch him inside and low. Colon made that mistake of going across the middle to Stanton on April 17, and the $325 million outfielder hit a home run off him. Colon adjusted and pounded Stanton inside and low and wound up striking him out twice.

Against Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman on opening day, Colon adjusted against two dead-red fastball hitters, took something off his fastball and struck both of them out that day.

The guy just gets it. And it affects the rest of the staff. His start against Washington set the table for the rest of the staff to follow. The same can be said about his get-away-day win in Atlanta when he shut down the Braves. When Atlanta saw the Mets again a week later they couldn’t do anything against the Mets pitchers.

Perhaps Colon is as much a pitching coach on and off the field to the staff as he is a starter. Colon has already been credited as being a help to the Latin pitchers on the team, because as a native of the Dominican Republic, pitchers like Jeurys Familia, Carols Torres and Alex Torres will look up to him. To them, learning from a fellow countryman means everything to them.

So say what you will about Colon’s weight, his age, his checkered past, and his contract. He doesn’t care. And if the good times keep rolling, the Mets won’t care either.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

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There is an old saying that age is just a number. Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon would concur with such a statement, because the 42-year-old has defied both age and expectations to get off to a fabulous start to his 2015 season.

While his hulking 283 pound-plus frame, which makes him look more like a baseball version of Jabba the Hut, and advanced age would give any unassuming fan the perception that Colon’s best days are far behind him, they would be greatly mistaken.

It is true he’s no longer the flame thrower who broke out with the Cleveland Indians back in the mid-1990s, but the guy has done something most never do, he has found a way to withstand the years. Whether it were injuries with three different teams from 2006-2009, being left for dead by a number of organizations like the Yankees, and steroid allegations with the A’s back in 2012, Colon has found new life in Queens.

When he signed a 2-year, $20 million deal with the Mets in 2014 it was easy to scuff at it. Yet the guy has started every game he has been asked to in a Mets uniform. Has won 17 games in one-plus years, and is off to one of the best starts in his career that even trump his 21-win season in 2005 with the Angles and his 20-win season in 2002 with the Indians.

How did he do it? 17-years of experience certainly helps. Colon knows how to pitch. Colon has only two pitches, a two-seam and four-seam fastball; he has learned how to put those fastballs in the right place at the right time. He has clearly spent time studying hitters twice his age, found their weakness and exploits it.

Take Giancarlo Stanton as an example. The key is to pitch him inside and low. Colon made that mistake of going across the middle to Stanton on April 17, and the $325 million outfielder hit a home run off him. Colon adjusted and pounded Stanton inside and low and wound up striking him out twice.

Against Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman on opening day, Colon adjusted against two dead-red fastball hitters, took something off his fastball and struck both of them out that day.

The guy just gets it. And it affects the rest of the staff. His start against Washington set the table for the rest of the staff to follow. The same can be said about his get-away-day win in Atlanta when he shut down the Braves. When Atlanta saw the Mets again a week later they couldn’t do anything against the Mets pitchers.

Perhaps Colon is as much a pitching coach on and off the field to the staff as he is a starter. Colon has already been credited as being a help to the Latin pitchers on the team, because as a native of the Dominican Republic, pitchers like Jeurys Familia, Carols Torres and Alex Torres will look up to him. To them, learning from a fellow countryman means everything to them.

So say what you will about Colon’s weight, his age, his checkered past, and his contract. He doesn’t care. And if the good times keep rolling, the Mets won’t care either.

See what Mets fans are saying here

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