OAKLAND — Bartolo Colon will start for the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of their AL division series against Detroit on Friday night, his first postseason appearance in eight years.
A year after Colon missed the playoffs for Oakland while serving a 50-game suspension for a positive test for testosterone, he won 18 games and is getting another chance on baseball's big stage — at age 40, and in his first playoff appearance since 2005 with the Angels.
"It means so much to me. I'm 40 years old and never thought I'd be here," Colon said in Spanish. "It is more special. The first reason is because of the Oakland organization, and I thank them for bringing me here to pitch another time."
Manager Bob Melvin made the announcement before a workout Tuesday at the Coliseum, where the grounds crew worked to prepare the field two days after the NFL's Oakland Raiders played a home game. The Game 2 starter for the AL West champions is rookie Sonny Gray.
"Ah, it's an easy one, he's been our ace all season," Melvin said of Colon. "We have that veteran presence that's going to lead us off we didn't have last year."
A.J. Griffin is out with elbow tendinitis, but could be added to the roster for the next round if the A's advance. Jarrod Parker will pitch Game 3 in Detroit and Dan Straily goes in a potential Game 4.