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Román Colón
Kansas City Royals — No. 56
Relief pitcher
Born: August 13, 1979 (1979-08-13) (age 30)
Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
August 21, 2004 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win-Loss     8-10
Earned run average     4.97
Strikeouts     116

Román Benedicto Colón (born August 13, 1979 in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. He is 6 feet, 6 inches (198 cm) tall and weighs 225 pounds (102 kg). Colón bats and throws right-handed.


Early career

Colón began his professional career with the Atlanta Braves Dominican Summer League team in 1996. In 1997, he ranked first in the Gulf Coast League in runs allowed (47) and earned runs (30), 5th in innings pitched (63), 4th in hits allowed (68), 2nd in games started (12). In 1998, he ranked 3rd in the Appalachian League in runs (59) and games started (13), 4th in earned runs (47) and first in hits allowed (92) and losses (7).

In 1999, he was named by the organization as Jamestown's Pitcher of the Year. He led the team in wins and strikeouts and tied for the team lead in innings pitched. Colón missed all of 2000 with an injury. Healthy again in 2001, he was promoted to Macon on May 3 from extended spring training. He had the 9th best walks per 9 innings ratio in Macon Braves history (1.83) and struck out a season high 7 batters three times. He struck out 6 in 6 innings on May 18 at Asheville for his first win of the season.

He put together a solid season in 2002, going 9-8 with a 3.59 ERA. In the two seasons after his arm trouble, he walked just 64 batters in 291 innings with 185 strikeouts. Colón pitched a complete game on June 2 versus Frederick (9 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 K). He also struck out a season-high eight batters on May 6 vs. Winston-Salem (7⅓ IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K).

In 2003, he was named Greenville Braves Pitcher of the Month in April (2-0, 2.86 ERA in 4 G). He finished 1st on the club and 3rd in the Double-A Southern League in wins, going 11-3. He earned a win in his first Double-A start in a 3-1 victory verse Chattanooga on April 9 (5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K). He won his first 3 decisions before losing back to back starts on May 12 and May 17, giving up 8 runs on 16 hits over 12 innings. He went 6-3 (3.66) in 12 starts (71⅓ IP, 68 H, 22 BB, 38 K) and was 5-0 (2.78) with 2 saves in 27 relief appearances (35⅔ IP, 36 H, 11 BB, 20 K). However, he closed the season by winning his final 7 decisions (did not lose after May 29) and did not allow a run over his final 13 appearances of the season from August 1 through September 1. He earned his first professional save by firing a perfect inning in a 5-3 win at Jacksonville on July 23.

Major leagues

Colón pitched at three different levels in 2004 and ended the year with Atlanta. At Triple-A Richmond, he went 4-1 with a 3.65 ERA in 51 appearances and was Richmond Pitcher of the Month for July, going 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA (12G, 20⅓ IP, 3 ER, BB, 17 K). He walked just two batters after July 1 with Richmond (19 G, 31.1 IP) and did not allow a run over his last six appearances, from August 4–August 17 (10⅔ IP, 2 H, BB, 11 K). He was recalled by Atlanta on August 18 and made his major league debut August 21 at Los Angeles, pitching the eighth inning. He did not allow a hit and fanned two. He earned first ML win on August 30 versus San Francisco with a scoreless ninth inning. He suffered his first MLB loss on September 9 against Philadelphia.

The Detroit Tigers acquired Colon from the Braves in the Kyle Farnsworth trade at the July 31, 2005, trade deadline. He had filled in admirably in an injury depleted Atlanta Braves rotation, holding the Chicago Cubs to one run in seven innings on July 5. He spent most of his Tigers tenure in the bullpen before making two spot starts in September, and was shelved after that with stiffness in his throwing elbow. In 2006, he appeared in 20 games for the Tigers.

Personal trouble and back to the minors

Colón started the 2007 season on the DL. During a rehab assignment in Triple-A Toledo, he was involved in an altercation with fellow pitcher Jordan Tata. During the course of the fight, Colon attempted to punch Tata and instead landed a punch to the face of Jason Karnuth, the Mud Hens closer who was trying to intercede and break up the fight. The resulting injury caused Karnuth to be admitted to the hospital and undergo plastic surgery to his face. According to his wife, who filed an assault report against Colón on her husband's behalf, Karnuth required a titanium plate to be screwed into his head. Karnuth missed most of the 2007 season as a result of the injuries. The Tigers suspended Colón for 7 days after the incident. On January 15, 2008, Colon pleaded no contest to an assault charge and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service.[1]

Colon was traded to the Kansas City Royals on July 13, 2007, for a player to be named later. The trade was presumably due to his troubled past with the Tigers. He was outrighted to the minor leagues after the season and was invited to spring training in 2008.[2] He became a free agent after the 2008 season, but was resigned by the Royals and invited to their 2009 spring training.


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