There were open boxes scattered through the Yankees clubhouse this morning, and players were beginning to pack away some of their things. We’re getting near the end here, and Bartolo Colon is still very much a relevant part of Yankees camp.
“It is impressive,” Joe Girardi said. “When you watch him, it’s pretty simple how he does it. He’s almost a short-armer. His mechanics, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot that can go wrong. When you watch him pitch, he’s very consistent. He’s kind of reinvented himself. He still throws up to 93, but you’re not going to see that 97 or 98 we used to see in the seventh and eighth inning.”
Tonight Colon will make his fourth official start. He’s also thrown a sim game and is stretched out to around 90 pitches. He’s going to work his way through a Rays lineup that’s full of legitimate major leaguers. No Manny Ramirez, but these guys can hit.
Colon is the Yankees most significant surprise of the spring, and he might very well be pitching his way onto this roster.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what we’ve seen from this guy,” Girardi said. “I heard that he was throwing pretty decent in winter ball, but we’re talking about spring training, coming off injuries and having to do it every fifth or sixth day. How is he going to do? I don’t remember the sink on his ball that he has now. I don’t remember his changeup being that good and I don’t remember his breaking ball being that good. I remember him being more of a power pitcher that could locate. Now he can do the other things – and still locate – and he’s been effective.”
Here’s the lineup he’ll be facing.
Ben Zobrist RF
Johnny Damon LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Dan Johnson 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Casey Kotchman DH
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Reid Brignac SS
Kelly Shoppach C
RHP Jeremy Hellickson
Associated Press photo