Looking at the respective spring training stats of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, you’d think Colon was running away with the 5th starter’s role. He looked terrific his last start, so much so that our own Matt Imbrogno was singing his praises and the general consensus after both player’s recent performances was that Colon was the man. Yankee manager Joe Girardi said earlier this spring that more weight (ahem) would be placed on the late March starts for both pitchers, since the low level minor league spring training invitees are largely weeded out by then, and the MLB hitters are up to speed. By that measure it’s clear who gets the nod. Bartolo’s been consistent all spring, while Garcia was good early in camp and then gave up 5 runs in 6 innings his last start, and 4 runs in 2.2 IP the start before. Sure, he’s a notoriously bad Spring Training pitcher (make that horrendous) but all signs pointed toward Colon.
But this week, the Yanks started changing their tune. You started hearing concerns about his ability to make 20-30 starts. You started hearing concerns that he hadn’t pitched in MLB since 2009. His conditioning may be a factor as well. All of these issues on Colon were known going in when they signed him. Why did they all of a sudden become decisive? This was supposed to be a competition, right? The numbers, even Spring Training numbers, don’t lie do they? Of course they don’t, but as often happens they also don’t tell the whole story. Jon Heyman got the scoop yesterday, which he relayed via Twitter:
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