The New York Mets’ past, present and future have collided at the 2016 MLB All Star Game.
Who would have guessed that the stabilizer of the best young rotation in league history would be a 43-year-old?
Bartolo Colon, who last made the All-Star Game in 2013, has stiffened a rotation that has battled injuries and dealt with velocity dips this season.
Colon, or Big Sexy as he’s referred to by the Flushing Faithful, is 7-4 with a 3.28 earned-run average. His 89- to 91-mph fastball has been loaded with movement, as he’s masterfully painted the corners and numbed opposing hitters.
National League manager Terry Collins — who’s also the Mets’ skipper — has marveled at the stability Colon has provided for the Amazin’s, and selected him as Madison Bumgarner‘s replacement for the annual star-studded event.
“I told him this is not a gift. For me, he earned the right. We’ve got good pitching and he earned the right to be there,” Collins said. “But Bartolo, I think, is a great story. I think it should be a good story in San Diego, that this guy’s made the team.”
Despite competing in a rotation filled with some of baseball’s brightest stars, Colon has emerged as an unlikely — but deserved — All-Star. His fourth bid in nineteen seasons could be his final one.
“It means a lot,” Colon said, via a translator, “because these are the final stages of my career and I’m trying to soak in the moment.”
As the past gingerly begins to descend from the spotlight, the present will also be recognized at Tuesday night’s event. Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes — three key components of last season’s Fall Classic team — will all represent the NL in “the next Silicon Valley.”
Although Syndergaard and Cespedes won’t be able to partake in the event, the team’s present will still be showcased on the national stage. Familia, the team’s dependable closer, hasn’t blown a save, while Syndergaard, aka Thor, has a dominant arsenal of pitches. Cespedes, who nearly signed with the Nats over the offseason, has posted absurd numbers.
Two players that aren’t representing their team in the event are Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. Although they both have tremendous futures ahead of them, two things unite the duo: they crossed paths in- and out- of Flushing, and they aren’t being given the chance to hit lefties in the major leagues, which has spurned their development.
Herrera and Rosario helped Team World at the Futures Game post a crooked number in the ninth inning, with Herrera hitting an RBI single that gave them a 5-3 lead and Rosario notching a hit to load the bases.
— MVVM Wear (@MvvmWear) July 11, 2016
Dominic Smith, the lone Mets prospect on the United States side, played solid defense and had a run batted-in. The big league club’s infield could potentially be comprised of the trio for years to come.
This is All-Star Game weekend: where past meets present meets future.