Veteran righty says he pays no attention to news, performance reflects attitude
MILWAUKEE -- Bartolo Colon says that he has paid no attention to reports that linked him to the use of performance-enhancing drugs and raised the possibility of further suspensions by Major League Baseball for the use of PEDs.
Based on the way he pitched on Wednesday, he certainly did not seem in the least distracted, worried or concerned.
After throwing a shutout against the White Sox on Friday night, Colon encored by allowing only one run over seven innings, leading the A's to a 6-1 victory the Brewers.
An ESPN report Tuesday night said that Major League Baseball could seek suspensions against some prominent players, including Colon, for alleged PED use.
According to the report, MLB has secured the cooperation of Anthony Bosch, former operator of the Florida anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis, accused of supplying PEDs to a number of players.
After the victory on Wednesday at Miller Park, Colon was asked if the ESPN report had been on his mind.
"I heard about it because you said that," Colon said through an interpreter. "I don't like to hear news."
Colon has already served a 50-game suspension, which began last year and included the first five games of this season, after he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
First baseman Brandon Moss, who hit a game-changing three-run homer, confirmed that the PED report didn't seem to be an overriding issue for Colon.
"I don't think he's worried about it," Moss said. "Major League Baseball is going to do what Major League Baseball is going to do, and they're going to handle it the way they're going to handle it. As far as Bartolo or anyone else that was mentioned, they still have a job to do, whether an impending suspension is coming or not. You still have to go out there and play for your team until whatever happens happens."
If it were not for this question mark hovering around his performance, Colon would simply be celebrated for a remarkable performance by a 40-year-old pitcher. For the year, Colon is 7-2 with a 3.14 ERA. Over his last four starts, he is 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA.
Before the suspension last year, he had some highly effective stretches. But he said this was better.
"I feel better right now than I felt last year," Colon said with a smile. "I was working more than last year. Even though I'm still fat, I worked harder than last year."
In fact, at one point, Colon said that this was his best work on the mound since 2005, the year he won the AL Cy Young Award.
Colon's fastball topped out at 94 mph on Wednesday, and he hit that number with some frequency. He has been so efficient that it was news when he walked two batters. He had only walked four all season prior to Wednesday.
He threw 93 pitches, 66 for strikes. Twelve of those pitches came in one at-bat alone, which ended in a walk to rookie second baseman Scooter Gennett.
"He's been terrific," manager Bob Melvin said. "He continues to go out there and be economical. I could have potentially let him go out there one more inning, but he pitched nine innings last time and he gave us a solid seven this time. He's on a nice roll.
"Sometimes, against teams that are really aggressive, you almost want to tell him: 'Hey, you can throw a ball every now and then.' But there's so much movement on his ball that even aggressive swingers, the ball moves so much that when they start their swing path, it's not on the barrel of the bat."
Melvin said that it did not appear that Colon was at all distracted about the report concerning PEDs. The manager also said that, at this point, he did not feel it was necessary to discuss the situation with Colon.