Melvin on Colon: 'He knows most of these guys and they all like him'
Bartolo Colon went 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts before a drug suspension ended his season. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
PHOENIX -- His 50-game drug suspension meant he had to leave behind his team when it needed him the most. Yet, on Monday when he arrived at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, he was greeted warmly.
It's safe to say there's no bad blood between Bartolo Colon and his teammates.
Colon, 39, decided against addressing the media. He took his mandatory physical and departed the clubhouse. While the media and the public might be seeking certain answers, his teammates don't seem to be.
"We know Bartolo and he knows us," starting pitcher Jarrod Parker said. "We don't need him to prove or make any statements or anything like that. We know who he is and how good he is out on the field, so we're not pushing for anything. I know he'll address us and do it as he wants to."
Colon, who speaks Spanish, isn't expected to pull together the clubhouse and make a speech to explain himself after his August 22 suspension left some of his teammates a bit shocked. He has five games remaining on his suspension and he will have served his time. Based on MLB rules he has every right to be back and no one appears to be holding his absence last season against him.
"I'm excited to see him again because in the clubhouse he has that laid back demeanor," starting pitcher Tommy Milone said. "Especially with losing [Brandon] McCarthy, [Jonny] Gomes, [Brandon] Inge, guys like that who kind of keep it loose in the clubhouse. He's one of those guys who is also keeping it loose in the clubhouse, so it'll be nice to have him back, have him joke around and have a good time."
Colon was very successful in 2012 prior to his suspension. In 24 starts he was 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA and 91 strikeouts. The 2005 American League Cy Young Award-winner was a veteran leader and a stabilizing force in an otherwise very young pitching staff.
"He fit in very well here before and I see that being the same case," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He knows most of these guys and they all liked him very much, got along with them all, and was a nice little resource for the younger starters, so I don't see any problems there."
Melvin said he hasn't yet spoken with Colon about the positive test for testosterone since he signed a one-year deal to rejoin the team. He plans to speak with Colon in the very near future. He also chose not to address the reports that Colon's name appeared in some paperwork found at a Miami-based anti-aging clinic known for pushing PEDs.
"I'll let MLB comment on that," Melvin said. "Our plans are that we're going to get him ready for a season here in spring training."
Colon will battle for a spot in the rotation this spring alongside Parker, Milone, Brett Anderson, A.J. Griffin, and Dan Straily. His contract also has incentives that can be obtained while pitching out of the bullpen.