Colon says he intends to pitch in 2019

September 27th, 2018
Texas Rangers pitcher Bartolo Colon pitches in relief against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)Michael Ainsworth/AP

ANAHEIM -- In his hilariously new self-deprecating commercial for a charcoal company, Rangers right-hander remarks at how he has been pitching for 21 seasons.

 On Wednesday, he confirmed that he would like to make it 22.

Colon has pitched just three times for the Rangers in September, with two of those outings in relief after giving up five runs over four innings on Sept. 5 against the Angels.

He had a solid opening two months of the season, but it has been a struggle ever since, as he has posted a 7.48 ERA in 17 appearances (15 starts) since June 1.

Not content to depart on those terms, Colon is open to pitching in the Major Leagues in 2019, although an upcoming stint in the Dominican Republic has more of a retirement feel about it.

Colon will pitch for Aguilas in the Dominican League this winter and make at least six appearances. He has agreed to pitch at least once in every stadium in the league.

Colon insists, though, that his appearances are not a farewell tour. Anything but, actually.

"Yeah, well, my thought is to come back next season," Colon said through an interpreter. "If it happens, if it helps me to pitch in winter ball and I am good, it will help."

Colon will take one week off once the season ends Sunday at Seattle before getting back to work for his run with Aguilas. He will become a free agent once the season ends.

Maybe he will treat his winter ball teammates to some barbecue while he is back home. The concept of Colon's new commercial for Kingsford Charcoal, and filmed with teammate , is that all the lifting, pulling and carrying involved with barbecuing meat is what has kept him strong enough to stay in pitching shape.

And it seems to be suggested that the barbecue meat itself is what has given him his actual shape.

"Yeah, it's the same as when I am pitching; I enjoy pitching and I enjoyed doing the spot," Colon said.

The 45-year-old does speak English, but has always used an interpreter to make sure he is able to make his point perfectly clear. But he does use some limited English in the commercial.

"Sometimes if I have to talk in English, the words, finding the right pronunciation for the words, is tough for me," he said. "I don't do it that much."

Pitching, on the other hand, is something he has done for a long time. He has appeared in 565 games, with 552 of those starts. In 3,461 2/3 innings, he has recorded 2,535 strikeouts. Where it goes from here remains to be seen, but Colon has made one promise.

"I promised the people in the Dominican that I will pitch over there," he said.

Choo getting rest 

Despite a late-season slowdown in production, appears ready and willing to still play every day, but interim manager Don Wakamatsu has given the leadoff man his fair share of recent days off.

Choo was not in Wednesday's starting lineup against Angels left-hander , and is not expected to start Thursday against Mariners left-hander .

"He's played more outfield, and played a lot this year," Wakamatsu said. "People don't realize that he upped his running program this year at the start of the year in order to eliminate some of those [previous] injuries. And he made the All-Star team for the first time."

Now, Wakamatsu said, it has taken a bit of a toll. Choo has 21 home runs this season and an .809 OPS, but over his last 42 games since Aug. 1, he has just one home run and a .643 OPS.

"Sometimes going that hard, but also having a good year, he has started to get a little tired this time of the year," Wakamatsu said.

Rangers beat

• Joey Gallo's 81 home runs over the past two seasons, entering play Wednesday, are fourth-most in baseball behind (94), (89) and J.D. Martinez (87).

• Wednesday was 's 261st game played against the Angels. The only opponent with more games against the Angels is Carl Yastrzemski with 280.

has been hit by a pitch 19 times this season, tying 's club record set last season.