Chicago Tribune’s Dave van Dyck reports the fourth slot in the White Sox rotation may be stuffed with bulky 36 year old RHP Bartolo Colon. The regional network of Old Country Buffet restaurants has been placed on threat level Orange.
The White Sox are on the verge of bringing back Bartolo Colon to see if he has enough left in his innings-taxed arm to help in the starting rotation.
Colon, who was 15-13 with a 3.87 ERA in a career-high 242 innings for the 2003 Sox, spent most of last season fighting back problems while with Boston.
Colon will be 36 in May and pitched only 39 innings last summer, but sources said the White Sox think he still has enough that he will be signed to a non-guaranteed one-year, incentive-laden deal if he passes a physical.
The pending deal apparently means another former Sox veteran, Freddy Garcia, will not return to supplement a rotation headed by Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Gavin Floyd.
Colon is expected to compete with Clayton Richard, Lance Broadway, rookie Aaron Poreda and Jeff Marquez, acquired from the Yankees in the Nick Swisher trade, for a spot in the back end of the rotation.
No one is sure what Colon has left in his 5-foot-11-inch, 250-plus-pound body. He started only seven games for Boston last year but won four of them before straining his back while batting in an interleague game.
He was placed on the 60-day disabled list and, after being shelled in his return, was sent to the bullpen. He later was suspended without pay Sept. 19 after leaving the team because he was upset at being a reliever.
White Sox general manager Ken Williams, who always has been a Colon fan, is ready to take another chance on the burly right-hander. Colon last pitched more than 100 innings in 2005, when he threw 2222/3 while going 21-8 for the Angels. He is 150-97 for his career.
Colon’s off-speed stuff has always been wicked, and had he not pulled a muscle in the ’05 ALDS against New York, the Sox might not have benefited from the early appearance and defeat of John Lackey in the ALCS Game 3 in Anaheim. But that’s just it: Colon’s muscles have been so tasked with the job of carrying around Bartolo Colon, it wouldn’t be any surprise that the tank is empty for other endavors. You can eat a lot of innings, or you can eat a lot of arroz con pollo, but you probably can’t do both.