An 18-game winner who threw 190.1 innings last season, it is hoped he will better the nine victories Harvey had last year.
The second season was the carrot to get Colon to sign – the money didn’t hurt, either – and act as a buffer in case Harvey isn’t ready for 2015, or there is a setback with Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero.
Colon is coming off a rocky start in last Monday’s loss to Miami; he gave up three runs in the fourth inning. He called it a “meaningful’’ game and said he was pleased with his control in his first start.
Colon gets by on location and mixing speeds with his fastball and will work on that against Chicago.
“I don’t shy away from throwing what I’m going to throw normally,’’ Colon said earlier this week. “That’s my pitch. I’m a fastball pitcher. That’s what I’m going to use. I’m going to use my best pitch.’’
The current plan is for Colon to enter the season second in the rotation, but he could get the Opening Day start if Jonathon Niese isn’t ready.