Friday, February 18, 2011
Bartolo Colon could lose 25 pounds
By Andrew Marchand
TAMPA, Fla. -- With an opportunity to return to the major leagues, Bartolo Colon says he weighs 267 pounds and is 25 pounds overweight. Colon is trying to earn the New York Yankees' fifth starter spot after not pitching in the major leagues last year.
"I have a goal, but I won't be able to do it during spring training," Colon said.
Colon, 37, is on a minor league contract so signing him was a risk-free move for the Yankees. He is competing with Freddy Garcia and Sergio Mitre for that fifth spot.
The issue of weight has dominated the Yankees camp thus far. Ace starter CC Sabathia lost 25 pounds this offseason to get down to 290 to help protect his knees and prolong his career. Reliever Joba Chamberlain came in "obviously heavier," according to general manager Brian Cashman. Chamberlain would not reveal what he weighs now.
Garcia, who won 12 games last year, is considered to have a slight edge over Colon or Mitre. Colon has not helped himself by showing up out of shape.
"I would like to go down 25 more pounds, but it is going to be hard to do during spring training," Colon said. "It is too short."
Colon said he has pitched at more than 250 pounds every season. He won 21 games with the Angels in 2005. Since then, he has won a total of 11 games.
"I feel really good right now, but I feel like I need to get down my weight a little more," Colon said.
And as Colon's weight is up, his velocity is down.
"I'm not throwing hard like I used to, but I know I'm throwing a lot of strikes and that makes me feel happy that way," Colon said.
Colon said he is topping out at 94 mph. Yankees scouts said that Colon was throwing in the low 90s during winter ball.
Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.