Bartolo Colon set to start Saturday

Updated: July 1, 2011, 9:15 AM ET
By Matthew Ehalt | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

After a positive bullpen session Thursday, Bartolo Colon is set to come off the disabled list and start for the New York Yankees against the New York Mets on Saturday. Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed the news following the Yankees' 5-0 win versus Milwaukee on Thursday.

Colon, who has been on the DL since June 12 with a strained left hamstring, threw before the Yankees' matinee game against the Brewers and will replace Brian Gordon in the rotation. "I felt good," Colon relayed through a team official. "I'm ready to come back and help the team. My bullpen went well. I'm happy to be back with everyone. I'm looking forward to Saturday."

On Wednesday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman indicated that Colon, 38, would return to the rotation Saturday as long as there were no hiccups in his recovery. Before Thursday's game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that if everything went OK for Colon in his bullpen session that he would be the starter in the middle game of the Subway Series in Flushing. Colon threw 50 pitches in a four-inning simulated start in Tampa on Monday and had his back examined in New York by team doctor Chris Ahmad on Wednesday.

The veteran starter had been one of the Yankees' top pitchers before his injury June 11 against Cleveland, going 5-3 with a 3.10 ERA, including a complete-game shutout. Colon has struck out 72 hitters in 78 1/3 innings and has walked just 18 batters.

In Colon's spot, career minor leaguer Gordon was 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in two starts.

As Colon returns from the DL and fellow starter Phil Hughes inches closer to his return, Girardi said the Yankees are thinking about potentially using a six-man rotation. Yankees starters have a 3.15 ERA in their past 18 games, prompting Girardi to say it's going to be tough to fit all the quality arms into just five spots.

"Do we feel a guy needs an extra day off, do we skip a guy to give him a little rest in one spot? There are some different things you can do to be creative with a rotation if you do a six-man," Girardi said. "Do you need one guy in the bullpen because your bullpen was fried the day before? Those are all the things you need to consider if you do that."

Matthew Ehalt is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

EDITORS' PICKS

ALSO SEE