Bartolo Colon, limited to 10 starts by a rotator-cuff tear in 2006, will report to spring training Wednesday with a goal of being ready to open the season, to which the Angels have replied: Not so fast.
"Our expectations are that he will not be ready for the start of the season," Manager Mike Scioscia said during Saturday's FanFest at Angel Stadium. "If he is, it will be a pleasant surprise."
Colon, who suffered a shoulder tear during the 2005 playoffs, opted for another winter of physical therapy instead of surgery. The right-hander began making 75-foot throws last week but will be far behind teammates who will begin throwing off mounds this week.
"I know it's going to be challenging, but I am not going to run away from this injury," Colon, 33, said through an interpreter. "I'm going to face it and move forward, and if there are negative thoughts in my mind, that won't help…. I will push myself to be ready opening week."
The Angels may have to push back.
"It's great Bart has a goal, but it's not realistic to say he'll be ready to start the season," Scioscia said.
That means left-hander Joe Saunders would open in a rotation that includes John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar, Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver.
"It's going to take some patience on Bart's part," General Manager Bill Stoneman said. "We don't want him reaching back and trying to throw too hard too early."