Jesus Colome isn't facing impossible odds. He's just facing long ones, and even if we do end up getting to see him in a Mariner uniform, chances are he doesn't pitch like any more than a replacement-level reliever.
-Jeff upon Jesus Colome's Minor League contract signing.
Jesus Colome 2010 WAR: 0.0 (FIP), -0.1 (tRA)
Jesus Colome's 2010 season will be remembered by me for three things. His addition to the Major League roster came at the expense of Ryan Langerhans and the 11-man staff. Both of which I am a fan of. Secondly, Colome was exactly the same pitcher he had always ever been. I imagine that he was a hard throwing but wild fly ball pitcher in little league too. Finally, he remained on the roster long past deserving it in part because Wakamatsu claimed that Colome would get snapped up on waivers immediately. He would later clear waivers.
Colome did improve his strikeout rate with Seattle over his National League numbers, but his walk rate also went up. Over his 17 innings pitched with the Mariners he struck out 16 and walked 11. At the end of the May, Colome and Kanekoa Texeira were designated to make room for Garrett Olson and Sean White in the Mariners quest to get even more white-bread. Colome would go on to participate with the Dodgers and the Rangers Triple-A squads.
It's tempting to draw a season-in-a-nutshell conclusion with Colome but the fact is that he hadn't been downright terrible in the past and actually wasn't terrible this year either. Don't interpret that as an endorsement of Colome. He's not good. He's reliably below average. But he hasn't been 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks bad and 17 innings isn't going to sink a season. The Yankees have given 48 innings to Chad Gaudin and his seven thousand home runs. The Rays gave 59 innings to Lance Cormier who struck out 29 and walked 31.
The Mariners gave 17 innings to Colome to see... something. They most likely didn't see it and he went away. As frustrating as it is to watch pitchers with control problems, bringing in Quad-A relievers on Minor League contracts to provide injury depth is a strategy I'll continue to endorse.