Bartolo Colon Still Looks Good for Oakland A's Following His 50-Game Suspension

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIApril 17, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 12:  Bartolo Colon #40 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning at Coliseum on April 12, 2013 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Bartolo Colon made his third start of the season as the Oakland A's completed a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros.  In the game, he went six innings, allowing one run while striking out three.

On the season, Colon has two wins, a 3.32 ERA and is yet to have a losing decision.  Colon has also not allowed a walk through his first three starts of 2013.

Colon had questions surrounding him throughout the offseason following his 50-game suspension for taking extra testosterone.  He finished off the suspension by sitting out the first week of the 2013 regular season, opening the door for Dan Straily to impress the club and threaten Colon for his job at the back of the starting rotation.

Straily returned to Triple-A Sacramento when Colon was reinstated following his suspension, and Colon has looked capable of keeping a hold on that fifth spot in the rotation.  

Colon's role in Oakland grew this year following the departure of veteran Brandon McCarthy in free agency.  He is now by far the oldest, most experienced pitcher in the A's clubhouse.  While the A's have veterans at other positions like Coco Crisp in center field and Grant Balfour in the bullpen, Colon is the veteran of the starting rotation.  

Brett Anderson is Oakland's longest-tenured pitcher and is the ace, but he is far behind Colon in major league pitching experience.

The A's may be stocked up on pitchers from the 25-man roster to Triple-A Sacramento and further down in the minors, but it always helps to have a reliable, savvy veteran as a part of the rotation when competing for the playoffs and beyond.  

For Colon, it has been so far so good in 2013.  If he keeps it up, the A's will definitely be among the best pitching staffs in the MLB again.