Colon said he would like to pitch in 2019, Doug Padilla of MLB.com reports. Colon will pitch in the Dominican League this winter, agreeing to make at least six appearances, at least one in every stadium in the league. That smacks of a retirement tour, but the 45-year-old right-hander insists he wants to come back for a 22nd season. Colon has made just three appearances for the Rangers in September, with two of those three being relief outings after a start Sept. 5, when he allowed five runs in four innings against the Angels. He had been Texas' most consistent starter over the first two months of the season but has a 7.48 ERA since June 1.
Colon allowed one run on three hits in 1.1 innings of relief in Wednesday's loss to the Rays. This was Colon's first appearance since being removed from the Rangers' starting rotation -- 14 days since he last pitched. That's a clear sign he's not in the team's plans for the rest of the season. The Rangers prefer to give innings to the young relievers called up for September.
Colon will be removed from the rotation going forward, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reports. In a lost season for the Rangers, there's little reason to give innings to a 45-year-old when they could go to young pitchers who are part of the team's future. Adrian Sampson, who was five years old when Colon made his MLB debut, will take Colon's spot moving forward. Colon will be available out of the bullpen, but even there, the Rangers would likely prefer to give younger pitchers the opportunities.
Colon may not start Tuesday when his next likely turn in the rotation is due, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Texas manager Jeff Banister is exploring options, including replacing Colon with Adrian Sampson, who was an effective starter for Triple-A Round Rock. Keeping Colon in the rotation makes no sense for multiple reasons: He blocks important development innings for young pitchers, he hasn't been effective since the All-Star break (2-5, 8.12 ERA), and he's earning incentive bonuses of $150,000 for every 10 innings he throws beyond 130.
Colon has no plans to retire and hopes to return to the Rangers next season, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Despite Colon's intentions, it's far from guaranteed that the 45-year-old will be able to find work in 2019. He's posted a 5.55 ERA this season after recording a 6.48 ERA last year, and he's been worse as the season has gone on, struggling to a 7.04 ERA over his last 17 starts. At this point, the more pressing question for Colon is whether or not he'll remain in the rotation down the stretch, with the Rangers reportedly wanting to give Adrian Sampson a shot to start.
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