Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bartolo Colon Evasive at White Sox Camp

If body language, demeanor and form have anything to say about a pitcher's state of mind and readiness for play, then expect a long, long wait for White Sox starter Bartolo Colon to become productive.

The portly former Cy Young winner -- looking as though he was dragging every ounce of his 250 pounds -- has been behaving in a surly, generally disagreeable and defensive way since arriving at Cactus League camp, refusing to say anything to reporters about his condition since undergoing surgery last fall for the removal of bone chips from his elbow.

Whatever it means, it can't be good. Though projected as the No. 4 starter, he has yet to begin throwing.

Colon, 38, last pitched for the Red Sox in 2008, notching a 3.92 ERA, but his appearances came in fits and starts, as he bounced back and forth between Boston and Triple A Pawtucket, missing a number of scheduled starts. Altogether, he only pitched for 39 innings for the season and gave up a .280 opposing batting average.

Come April, if Colon can't go, it will be interesting to see what impact his disablement has on an assortment of other pitchers fighting for a spot at the bottom of the rotation, none more intriguing than six-foot-six top prospect Aaron Poreda, a 22-year-old lefty still in need of development but who can bring it.