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It has been quite the renaissance for Bartolo Colon in 2013
2013 stats: 11-2, 2.79 ERA, 1.082 WHIP, 13 walks in 106.1 innings
This was the closest call of my four first-half awards for the 2013 A's, but it was not really that close. Oakland's first-half Cy Young Award-winner has been Bartolo Colon.
After being re-signed on a one year deal, it was clear the team had accepted Colon. The question was whether he could still be effective while turning 40 years old during the season.
The simple answer is an emphatic one.
Colon has been brilliant, arguably even better than AL Cy Young Award front runner Max Scherzer. There is no question he deserves merit not just for this team award, but also on the AL All Star team.
The suspicions of Colon's success goes back to his 50-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs in 2012. As long as that black cloud exists, this magical year will be tainted in the eyes of many.
However, until he is suspended again, Colon deserves the benefit of the doubt. Not because he is, ahem, burlier than he was in 2012, but because the big Dominican has been mostly successful due to his control and willingness to challenge hitters.
Guile, not gas, has been the recipe for this first-half job by Colon. With apologies to Grant Balfour, who is probably the best closer of the first half in the American League, the job by Colon has trumped his first half.