Colon beginning to show his potential

Colon beginning to show his potential

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Bartolo Colon started a Minor League game at City of Palms Park on Saturday morning.

Colon, who signed a Minor League contract with the Red Sox in February, tossed three scoreless innings, as the Class A Lancaster Jet Hawks hosted the Twins' Class A Fort Myers Miracle. He threw 34 pitches (23 for strikes), allowed four hits, no walks, and struck out two batters.

The game was called in the top of the fifth because of rain, with the Miracle leading, 1-0.

"I thought overall it was a very good outing," said Goose Gregson, the pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, who monitored Colon's outing. "He warmed up extremely well. He elevated a few fastballs that put him in some hitters' counts, thus there was a little hard contact early in the game. But what I liked most was he stayed in his delivery, made some adjustments, got big outs when they had runners on base -- which is ultimately part of his getting back in the swing of things.

"So I thought, overall, it was a very good adjustment to the pitches that he did elevate. He threw some very, very good two-seamers today. The two-seamer is the one I think he blew up two bats, [and] got a couple of weak ground balls out there. But, overall, I would assess it as a very good outing; a positive in the right direction."

Colon, the 2005 Cy Young Award winner with the Angels, worked all of his pitches into the outing. Although there was not a radar gun on Colon's pitches, Gregson was happy with the velocity.

"His velocity was clearly plus," Gregson said. "[He] threw a couple of really good sliders ... He's got a very good changeup and it's a pitch that I think he's going to start mixing in a little more often. I think it's going to be a good pitch for him. He threw one in his third inning of work and got very good results with it. Had a little bit of a smile on his face when he came off [the mound].

"He'd be the first to tell you if you were to talk to him, he elevated more pitches than he would have liked to. He critiques himself very well. Even when he warmed up, if he threw a pitch up in the zone he said, 'No, that's not a good pitch. I have to get that pitch down.'

Colon, who did not comment after his outing, is expected to leave Fort Myers on Thursday, joining the Sox in Los Angeles, where he is scheduled to start one of the three exhibition games against the Dodgers next weekend.

Josh Beckett is expected to pitch in a game at the Sox's Minor League complex on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.