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Colon's future with Braves uncertain

Struggling veteran allows six runs in four frames vs. Padres
MLB.com @mlbbowman

SAN DIEGO -- Bartolo Colon was provided the courtesy of one more start. Now the Braves must decide what to do with the 44-year-old pitcher, whose ERA has steadily risen closer to his age over the past few months.

Regardless of how Colon fared during Wednesday night's 7-4 loss to the Padres at Petco Park, it seemed doubtful the Braves were going to create a spot to put him back in their rotation. The veteran pitcher seemingly made the decision less complicated when he allowed six earned runs over four innings and exited with a 8.14 ERA .

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SAN DIEGO -- Bartolo Colon was provided the courtesy of one more start. Now the Braves must decide what to do with the 44-year-old pitcher, whose ERA has steadily risen closer to his age over the past few months.

Regardless of how Colon fared during Wednesday night's 7-4 loss to the Padres at Petco Park, it seemed doubtful the Braves were going to create a spot to put him back in their rotation. The veteran pitcher seemingly made the decision less complicated when he allowed six earned runs over four innings and exited with a 8.14 ERA .

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When asked what the plan for Colon moving forward would be, Braves manager Brian Snitker said, "I don't know, to be honest with you. I'm going to process everything tonight and then kind of see what's going on."

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While the Braves might not have been ready to commit to their plan for Colon, they can't responsibly give a rotation spot to a pitcher who has produced a 10.38 ERA over his past nine starts and allowed six earned runs or more in six of his 13 starts this season. He surrendered six earned runs or more eight times over the 64 starts totaled within the past two seasons.

"I feel good," Colon said. "I just feel like I've hit a bad streak and it's tough to snap out of it. That's all you can do. You just have to work and try to get out of it any way you can."

Snitker indicated moving Colon to the bullpen would be an option. But the Braves could also opt to part ways with the lovable pitcher, who is still owed approximately half of the one-year, $12.5 million deal he signed in November.

"That's all for them to decide," Colon said. "I have zero say with that. It's not my decision to make. Whatever decision they make, that's the one I'm going to follow."

Colon was given this latest start after spending the past three weeks on the disabled list with what was termed a strained left oblique muscle. Despite the long layoff that didn't include a rehab start, he actually pitched better than he had in many of his most recent starts.

Cory Spangenberg's two-run double in the first inning came immediately after plate umpire Mike Winters ruled Hunter Renfroe checked his swing on a 3-2 pitch. Two innings later, Matt Adams fumbled a two-out grounder that could have prevented another Padres run.

"There were a couple of close plays and calls, but what can I say?" Snitker said. "It just didn't hpen."

The Braves gave Colon this start with the hope the past three weeks spent on the disabled list had given him a chance to relocate the magic he had the past few seasons. But at this point, they may have to simply cut their losses and move forward.

"When he had the [oblique] thing going on, I thought getting that better and a little blow from Spring Training might re-charge the batteries a little bit," Snitker said. "He had a couple good bullpen [sessions]. I told him when he went on the DL, we're going to give you another start."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Bartolo Colon