Right-hander Bartolo Colon made his first start in the Minnesota Twins organization Thursday, allowing four on four hits through 3.2 innings while striking out five and walking two with Triple-A Rochester.
Colon threw 76 pitches — 50 for strikes — and the 44-year-old topped out at 89 mph against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
The Twins signed Colon to a minor-league deal last Friday after a brief stint with the Atlanta Braves, in which he went 2-8 with an 8.14 ERA and 11 home runs allowed in 13 starts. He was designated for assignment and eventually released on July 4.
Minnesota is the ninth organization that Colon, the oldest active player in the major leagues while the Braves, has played for during his 20-year. Though he struggled with the Braves this year, Colon had a superb campaign with the Mets last season, going 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA in 34 appearances (33 starts). He was also selected to his fourth career All-Star game.
Colon joins a Minnesota squad that will begin the second half one game back of the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees for the first American League Wild Card, and 2.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.
While the Twins remain near the top of the standings, they rank 27th in the majors with a 4.95 ERA from their starters. Jose Berrios is set to open the second half of the season with All-Star Ervin Santana behind him. With Hector Santiago on the disabled list, they also have Adalberto Mejia and Kyle Gibson in the rotation.
Colon’s lone relief appearance last season was his first since 2011 with the New York Yankees.