NEW YORK (AP) — Bartolo Colon was activated from the disabled list Saturday to start for the New York Yankees against the Mets in the Subway Series.
The 38-year-old right-hander had been sidelined since straining his left hamstring June 11 in a 4-0 victory over Cleveland. He was injured while covering first base on a groundout.
To make room on the roster, the Yankees optioned right-hander Brian Gordon to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 32-year-old journeyman made two starts in Colon’s absence, going 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA.
“I went out there and did the best I could. Hopefully it opened up some eyes. We’ll see,” Gordon said.
New York manager Joe Girardi said he anticipated Colon throwing about 80-85 pitches Saturday, though Colon told Girardi he could go nine innings.
With right-hander Phil Hughes (shoulder) nearly ready to come off the DL, the Yankees could soon have six healthy starters. So they have a decision to make about their rotation. Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia seem the likely candidates to get pulled, or New York could go with a six-man rotation for a while.
“I want to get through today, see what happens today, then we’ll probably have a long discussion tomorrow and we’ll make a decision,” Girardi said. “I have not ruled anything out yet. We’ve talked about a bunch of different scenarios and we’ll have a decision shortly.
“These are all the factors that we have to weigh,” he added. “We seem to have a good problem here. But it’s something that we have to figure out.”
Gordon, a converted outfielder who turns 33 next month, opted out of his contract with Philadelphia’s Triple-A Lehigh Valley affiliate to sign with the Yankees on June 16. He started that day against the Texas Rangers, the only previous team to give him a shot in the majors.
“It was an unbelievable experience. The first 12 years of playing minor league ball with no call-up, it was — I almost lost the sense of what I was playing for. It turned into just getting that paycheck, provide for the family. And then I got called up in Texas, it kind of lit that fire back up and I was just kind of running off that fire. And to get another chance at it was unbelievable, because you don’t know. You don’t know if it is going to happen,” Gordon said.
“Then this opportunity popped up, it was unbelievable. I’m grateful, thankful — but hopefully it’s not done. I’ve got to go down to Scranton and put some work in.”
Gordon began his professional career in 1997 and spent 10 seasons as an outfielder, hitting 118 home runs. When he was in Houston’s system he spent an offseason working with Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, among others, on moving to the mound.
Gordon began pitching in 2007 and threw three games in relief for Texas in 2008.
“This is the big leagues. This is what every ballplayer plays for. I got to live it for a couple weeks, with the Yankees, and it was unbelievable,” Gordon said. “So personally, yeah, there is a little disappointment. But I can’t sit on that disappointment for too long because ideally there’s still a lot of season left and there’s still a lot of opportunity to help these guys out later down the road.”
Before signing with the Yankees, Gordon was 5-0 with an International League-leading 1.14 ERA when he left the Phillies’ organization.
Now he’s headed to Scranton, where he will remain a starter.
“Overall, I know what I have to work on and I’m going to go down there and try to do so,” Gordon said.