Let’s have a look in at a few notes from the American League:
- The Rangers’ investment in righty Colby Lewis has paid dividends, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. While the 36-year-old’s 4.36 ERA is not overly impressive, he is closing in on 200 innings pitched and has been worth about two wins above replacement (give or take). That’s exactly the kind of steady presence the club hoped for after experiencing an incredible rash of recent pitching injuries. Looking ahead to the offseason, Lewis indicated that he wants to keep pitching and will evaluate his options. “We’ll just have to see how this plays out,” he said. “If they want me back, we’ll go from there. It’s still a business. Everybody’s got to be on board with it. It’s going to be a situation ultimately for this front office and a lot of others. I feel like when I’m healthy and enjoying the game, I’m going to eat up innings and try to give you a chance to win every night.” From the team’s perspective, Daniels heaped praise on the veteran and indicated that there is interest in another contract. “We’ll address that at the end of the year,” Daniels said. “But I don’t think anyone here wants Colby pitching in another uniform.”
- Steven Souza’s 2015 season hasn’t gone quite the way that he and the Rays hoped, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times explains. Souza himself labeled it “a trial,” saying that he hasn’t handled the pressure of being a major trade acquisition as well as he could have. “I was taking a load I didn’t need to take, trying to carry the team and hit a homer every single pitch,” he said. “That’s just not realistic.” As Topkin rightly notes, it’s promising to see the 26-year-old take accountability. And it isn’t as if Souza has had a complete disaster of a season: he owns a 105 wRC+ and has rated well on the basepaths, though his defensive metrics aren’t great. Certainly, there’s plenty of time for him to make good on the club’s investment, and it’s worth noting that Souza has performed well since returning from a fractured hand.
- Another young player who was recently traded, Devon Travis of the Blue Jays, hit the ground running with his new organization. But his year ended prematurely due to exploratory shoulder surgery. As MLB.com’s Gregory Chisholm reports, the rookie ultimately had a cyst drained and a “general cleanup” in the procedure. It does not appear as if anything more serious was identified, which seems to rate as good news. Expectations are that Travis will be ready for a full spring, when he’ll look to build off of an outstanding start to his career.