Rookie Hurler Making His Statement
If you want to call Luis Colon’s performance against the California Crusaders an audition for next year, he’s happy to oblige. The 22-year-old right hander took the hill this sim and went eight innings, limiting the best team in the Frick League to two his and allowing only a pair of walks in 8 innings. He struck out six hitters, throwing 86 pitches in those 8 innings.
“We knew he has that kind of stuff,” said manager Bret Richards. “But you never know how a kid is going to handle the transition.”
Colon was called up from AA Santa Cruz to start September, and got shelled by Boise in his debut, but settled in to beat Des Moines, going seven innings and allowing only three hits before presenting the team with this outing.
“I’m really happy to be up here,” Colon said. “I didn’t think it was really a chance to happen until next year at best, but it’s nice to get the chance.”
Colon’s opportunity came as a result of three big injuries to Nine starters this year, with Tim Oliver, Jose Chavez, and Hiroyasu Osaragi all going down. Osaragi will certainly be out all of 2038, and some are concerned that either Oliver or Chavez may not be ready for the beginning of the season next year, suggesting the Nine will be in the market for pitchers. Colon is listed as the club’s 11th best prospect by the BNN OSA scouting congregation, and the team’s sixth best pitcher. But he’s the kid closest to being ready, and if the past two outings are to be believed, that 11th might be too low.
OLIVER ON SLOW RECOVERY ARC
And, regarding the question of Colon’s opportunity, word from the team is that 32-year-old Tim Oliver’s labrum recovery appears to be a long-path rather than a shorter one. While some pitchers with this injury can come back in 6-8 months, team doctors are whispering that Oliver’s will likely be on the longer end, suggesting that he could be sidelined until late spring training or even into next year. “Oliver’s a slow healer,” one team insider said. “I think he just sits in front of the TV and drinks beer.” Of course, Oliver can afford to do that, given his $3.2M contract he’s got for the next two seasons. "I think Collins was drunk when he signed that deal," the informant said.
GM: Ron Collins