Colon has become embarrassment, Braves can’t let this continue

Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon is pulled from the game in the fourth inning against Philadelphia by manager Brian Snitker. Colon’s ERA over his last eight starts is 10.03. (AP photo)

(Updated: 11:55 p.m.) Bartolo Colon’s bobblehead night is Friday. At this point, putting one of those figurines on the mound would be a better option for the Braves than the jelly-bellied real thing.

Colon officially passed into a new dimension in Braves’ history Monday night. He has transitioned from being a horrible signing this season to one of the worst in franchise history.  I think even B.J. Upton is covering his eyes.

Facing the major league’s worst team, the Philadelphia Phillies, Colon was punched for three runs in the first inning, and six more before manager Brian Snitker finally went to the mound to sweep up his ashes with two outs in the fourth and the score 7-0. The Braves went on to lose 11-4.

Colon (2-7) was charged with eight runs and seven hits in only 3 2/3 innings, including a home run, four doubles and two walks. The starting pitcher, who signed a one year $12.5 million contract, saw his ERA balloon to a cartoonish 7.78, by far the worst of any qualifying pitcher in the major leagues. His numbers are even worse over his last eight starts: Opponents have hit .380 (63 for 166) with eight homers and scored 39 earned runs in 35 innings for an ERA of 10.03.

Snitker for the first time would not commit to Colon making his next scheduled start on Saturday against the New York Mets: “We’re going to think about it going forward. We haven’t made a decision yet about the next one.”

Asked if Colon might be moved to the bullpen, Snitker said: “That’s something I really haven’t had a chance to talk to (pitching coach) Chuck (Hernandez) or anybody about. We’ll get together and discuss the whole thing.”

Colon said he has never had such a poor start in his career — the numbers confirm it — but that “physically and mentally I still feel good.”

As for the uncertainty of his next start, he said: “I really don’t have any thoughts on it. They’re there to make the decisions. It’s their call. We’re the ones here to execute and I’ll follow through on whatever they say.”

Would a bullpen session help?

Colon: “Whatever decision they make, I’ll accept it and I’ll following through with it

 

Colon is 2-7 in 12 starts. So he has made $6.25 million per win. His performance Monday was especially bad because it came against the Phillies (20-35) and opened an important stretch for the team (which will play 18 of 21 at home). For more on the game and why the Braves may be moving closer to a veteran dump before the trade deadline, click here.

There’s no reason Colon should make his next start. If he pitches against the Mets Saturday, it might just be to spare the organization the embarrassment of him not being around for his bobblehead giveaway on Friday night.

A recap of Monday’s carnage:

• First inning: With one out, Colon allowed a double to Odubel Herrara, an RBI single to Aaron Altherr and a two-run homer to Tommy Joseph (3-0).

• Third inning: Herrara hit his second double in as many at-bats and scored on a double by Joseph (4-0).

• Fourth inning: A one-out walk was followed by catcher Andrew Knapp’s double (5-0), a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a two-run single by Cesar Hernandez (7-0). Snitker finally gave up all hope. He pulling Colon (who walked off the mound to a mixture of grumbles and light booing) and put in Sam Freeman. Then Herrara hit a two-run homer to male it 9-0 (one of those runs being charged to Colon).

Herrara started the night hitting .234. He might want to take up residency here.

Reminder: The Braves ended their previous homestand with a Colon grease fire: a 9-4 loss to Pittsburgh on May 25. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits in five innings. So in his last two starts at SunTrust, Colon has allowed15 runs on 17 hits with five walks and two homers in 8 2/3 innings. Good way to endear yourself to the home fans.

The Braves have fallen behind early in several games this season.

“It wears you down,” Snitker said.

EARLIER: If Braves don’t get it together, veteran dump will begin soon

Subscribe to the,We Never Played The Game” podcast with the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein on iTunes. Episodes also can be downloaded from on-demand link on WSBRadio.com.

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Reader Comments 0

23 comments
Billy Richmond
Billy Richmond

He's nowhere near the conversation for worst signing ever. It's a one-year deal in a rebuilding year. It obviously hasn't worked like they hoped it would -- pitch effectively, get traded for a solid prospect -- but good grief, it means virtually nothing in the grand scheme.


Have better takes.

jc77
jc77

first of all, someone who looks like jeff schultz has no room to level an insult based on another's looks...regardless of how spot on it may be.  i'm sure his significant other has a strict dim light policy whenever jeff's in the room.  cataracts would be a welcome relief.  

secondly, it wouldn't hurt at all for snitker to pull his starters out if it looks like they don't have their stuff.  there's no sense in letting a game get out of hand like last night's when colon was obviously struggling.  and don't give me crap about taxing the bullpen with the revolving door between gwinnett and smyrna.  there's always someone who can come in for a few innings and stabilize a game so the offense can have a chance to come back.  

klsfriend
klsfriend

Ok, before reading any of the article. The fact that an athlete is not being successful does not justify calling him an embarrassment. An embarrassment is the guy in the White House and the people who voted for him. As for Bartolo, last time I noticed wasn't Julio giving up 7 runs? Is he an embarrassment? Mr. Schultz, I know your job is to get attention and so you have to come up with attention-getting article titles but seriously...

Densimulator
Densimulator

While I think it's probably time to remove BC from the rotation it is quite a coincidence to read an article calling him an embarrassment written by an author that can only be described as an embarrassment himself.

Bug
Bug

the only reason he is still on the team is because of bobblehead night, they have kept him around for all these losses because some nut job in the front office threw 500 grand at the things. they would have done better to bring back Buzz Capra and Niekro.

DawgNole
DawgNole

"If he pitches against the Mets Saturday, it might just be to spare the organization the embarrassment of him not being around for his bobblehead giveaway on Friday night."

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What about the embarrassment of winning only ONE championship over the past five-plus decades--NONE the past 22 seasons???

This franchise should be used to embarrassment; same with its fellow ATL pro teams, who can't even claim ONE championship between them over that half-century-plus.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

Every BC start is a start that a young pitching prospect could be using to learn the ropes in the Bigs.
There is at least the potential for some future reward.

geemani
geemani

The GM of the Braves is the one who needs to be fired for investing 12.5 million in a 43 year old pitcher, who have seen his best days ten years ago! I don't blame Colon for getting the money!

JJAXJR82
JJAXJR82

@geemani It is was a one year deal for a veteran pitcher who won 15 games last year with a 3.5 ERA.  He was to be a stop gap to the young pitchers in the minors.  Unfortunately it has not worked out.  The FA market this past off-season was not particularly strong so there was no reason to invest big, long-term money in mid-tier FA pitchers.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Embarrassments?...perhaps the dawgs can hire him?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

You mean those same Dawgs who have DOMINATED your team for decades?

Now THAT is embarrassment!

4williec
4williec

This bobblehead marketing thing is a "tail wagging the dog" sort of thing. I sure hope the Braves think into things a bit more in the future before they go promoting such things before there is a firm reason to do so. Embarrassing to the club is an understatement. 

SkokieDog
SkokieDog

@4williec Fans on Friday might may be excused for saying, "no, thanks" to the offer of the free bobblehead. Then, Braves' brass could decide what to do with thousands of worthless hunks of plastic. They'd probably decide to offer the pile of unclaimed bobbleheads $8 million to hang around for the remainder of the season. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@4williec: "Embarrassing to the club is an understatement. "

___________________

"Embarrassing" is the hallmark of ATL pro sports.

Understatement indeed.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@BTC

What's alarming is that the AJC makes no apparent effort to stem the tide of this garbage, which is a major contributor to the paper's burgeoning reputation as tabloid trash.

DamonH
DamonH

I just read an old Fox Sports article about Wren/Uggla/Upton .. a paragraph from it made me depressed:

The good news for the Braves’ next GM is there’s still plenty of talent here. Evan Gattis, Freddie Freeman, Tommy La Stella, Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton, and Jason Heyward are all still in their prime years. Teheran and Alex Wood are both young and good, and Kris Medlen’s throwing again.

BTC
BTC

@DamonH The future looks bright indeed!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@DamonH: ". . . a paragraph from it made me depressed . . . ."

______________

You're not surprised, are you?

"Depressed" pretty well describes the long and painful history of ATL pro sports.

blevins1491
blevins1491

Jeff, you're a little late to the party, but welcome.