The Oakland Athletics are one of the hottest teams in all of baseball heading into the All-Star break. The A’s currently hold a two-game lead over the Texas Rangers in the AL West and they’re also sending two players to the All-Star game in New York City.
Bartolo Colon was voted in as one of the A’s best starting pitchers, but he won’t be able to pitch in Tuesday’s game after he threw over six innings on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox.
Relief pitcher Grant Balfour will replace Colon on the AL All-Star roster, which gives him his first midsummer classic appearance. Balfour was an easy choice as Colon’s replacement after jumping out to a hot start this season.
In 40 games this year, Balfour has 25 saves and he currently sports a 1.63 earned run average. He has converted 43 consecutive save opportunities dating back to last season and he was originally considered a great choice for the All-Star team’s initial roster.
The Oakland Athletics’ pitcher fell just short of a spot on Jim Leyland’s roster, but he’ll be heading to Citi Field anyways after Colon’s outing on Sunday.
Bartolo Colon came to the A’s two years ago after a stint with the New York Yankees. His career fell off over the past few years but he’s back on top after a strong start in 2013.
His success in New York led to a new deal with the A’s and hes been a pleasant surprise on the mound ever since. So far this season, Colon is 12-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 19 starts.
The 40-year-old hasn’t won more than 10 games since 2005 with the Los Angeles Angels, but he’s pitching better than ever this season after finishing with a 10-9 record in 2012.
Grant Balfour will fill-in on the AL roster for the All-Star game, but Colon’s numbers in the first half won’t be overlooked anytime soon as the A’s continue to impress out West.
Do you think the Oakland Athletics are a legitimate World Series contender after a strong start in 2013?
[Image via Keith Allison]