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Innings catching up to Bartolo?

Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon

#40 SP

New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM23
  • W8

  • L8

  • BB34

  • K112

  • ERA3.71

As Bartolo Colon's innings continue to rise and his effectiveness seems to wane, questions have started to rise about whether Colon has hit a wall with how many innings he's pitched as he's at his most in the past six years.

Yankees General Manger Brian Cashman can't give you an answer.

"He’s in an area where he’s been certainly before in his career many times, but he’s certainly in an area that he hasn’t been in what four to five years. So what it means I don’t know. I just don’t know," Cashman said. "So it’s more of a guessing game and you might as well not bother guessing. It’s just you know, he’s been a Godsend for us, no doubt about it, him and Freddy (Garcia). But how the back-end of those innings are going to affect him, is fair to speculate based on how he’s performing."

After not topping 100 innings the last five seasons, Colon is currently at 131 innings pitched on the season. While Colon started out great, he's struggling as of late. After losing to Oakland last night, Colon is just 2-5 with a 5.21 ERA in his last nine starts.

Opponents seemed to have figured him out, as they are hitting .311 against him and have an OPS of .899 in those nine starts. In his last five starts, Colon, 38, has just gone into the seventh inning once and he has not won since July

With Garcia joining the rotation Saturday, which puts the Yankees back at six starting pitchers, the Yankees could skip Colon once to give him some rest and prolong them from making a decision on whom to boot from the rotation. Cashman wouldn't comment on whether skipping Colon is an option.

"I'll leave that to Joe (Girardi) and Larry (Rothschild) to call and talk about," Cashman said. "Obviously we’re in a six-man rotation and trying to get to five. And we’ve got September coming around the corner. We’ve got a Hurricane due to hit in the Maryland area here probably this weekend. So we’ll continue to have to juggle and play around with our pitching, I can tell you that. So whether that means giving guys rest or actually needing all hands on deck because we’ll have games piling up on us, I don’t know yet."

One area the Yankees would like to see Colon improve in is the use of his two-seamer, which is his sinker. In Tuesday's loss, Colon said he threw just two sinkers, after it had been such a great pitch for him earlier this season.

Catcher Russell Martin says Colon has the option to throw the two-seamer (sinker) or four-seamer (fastball) when a certain call is made and Colon chose to rely heavily on his four-seamer Tuesday.

Girardi made it obvious he wants to see more of the two-seamer.

"The two-seamer has been a very important pitch for him and we definitely need to get it going," Girardi said.