Colon and Contreras update
Judging simply by the sound of Barolo Colon’s pitches during Monday’s live batting practice session at Camelback Ranch, the White Sox might break camp with a veteran starting rotation in tact.
Colon and Jose Contreras have numerous tasks in front of them before being deemed ready for the 2009 regular season, but Monday morning was another in a long line of steps forward. Each hurler threw two 20-pitch innings, facing Minor Leaguers such as Miguel Negron and Matthew Inouye. Colon stayed with fastballs and change-ups, breaking off a few curves, while Contreras threw all of his pitches, from all angles.
Remember, Contreras is coming back from a ruptured Achilles, while Colon is coming back from offseason surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow. So, from a purely throwing standpoint, Contreras is ahead of Colon. That gap appears to be closing judging by the zip on Colon’s pitches.
There will be another batting practice session for the two on Wednesday and then possibly live game action this weekend. Having Contreras and Colon ready instantly gives the White Sox a very deep pitching staff, with Clayton Richard and Jeff Marquez moving to long relief.
With a B Game going at the same time, manager Ozzie Guillen did not join pitching coach Don Cooper to watch Colon and Contreras throw. Gordon Beckham batted twice while I was watching the B game and had four hits–just kidding. He had one hit and drove home a run with a ground out.
By the way, for you boxing fans, Rock Newman, Riddick Bowe’s former manager, was in attendance at Camelback Ranch on Monday. We had a brief discussion about the “fan man” fight, which I attended in Las Vegas in 1993, when a man paraglided into the ring during a Bowe-Evander Holyfield fight. That “fan man” has his own Wikipedia page, which is kind of sad.