While it’s possible the Rangers will bring back right-hander Colby Lewis to compete for a spot in their banged-up rotation, there hasn’t been any movement toward re-signing the free agent, general manager Jon Daniels told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. The 37-year-old Lewis is unwilling to take a minors deal, reports Fraley, so the Rangers will have to remove someone from their 40-man roster if they hand him a major league contract. Nearly all of Lewis’ career has been spent in Texas, where he pitched his first three seasons (2002-04) and the past seven (2010-16). He threw 116 1/3 innings of 3.71 ERA ball last season, though his FIP, xFIP and SIERA each hovered around the 5.00 mark.
The latest on a few other American League pitchers:
- No full-time reliever eclipsed the 90-inning mark in either of the previous two seasons, but several could do it this year, observes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. There’s “a growing desire” among GMs and managers to utilize certain relievers for multiple innings, relays Sherman, who writes that the Astros’ Chris Devenski and the Marlins’ David Phelps are prime candidates to serve as bullpen workhorses in 2017. “Not every reliever is built for a versatile role. [Devenski] is,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. The right-hander was sensational across 108 1/3 frames as a rookie last year, when he threw 83 2/3 innings out of the bullpen and delivered a 1.61 ERA, 8.98 K/9 and 1.26 BB/9. Phelps was great at preventing runs in both roles (2.22 ERA in 24 1/3 innings as a starter, 2.31 ERA in 62 1/3 relief frames), but the righty only worked an inning at a time from the bullpen. Miami’s now stretching him out to throw 50 pitches in a given appearance, if necessary. “I look at Phelps like Andrew Miller,” manager Don Mattingly told Sherman. “I can use him in multiple ways. I can pitch him a few innings or I can have him close a game. You can’t do it on a daily basis. He still needs his rest. You know in bigger situations in the fifth and sixth innings you can see him.”
- One of the Orioles’ top starters, righty Chris Tillman, will open the season on the 10-day disabled list, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Tillman has been dealing with shoulder issues for the past few months, and he underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection in December. The Orioles won’t need a fifth starter until April 15, notes Kubatko, who lists Mike Wright, Tyler Wilson, Gabriel Ynoa, Jayson Aquino and Chris Lee as possibilities to slot into their rotation during Tillman’s absence.
- Red Sox left-hander David Price threw Saturday for the first time since suffering a flexor strain earlier this month, per Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. Manager John Farrell came away encouraged, calling it “a good day for David,” but a return still doesn’t exactly seem imminent for the ace. “All of the early phase of throwing are going to be short, controlled effort and energy,” said Farrell. “We’re not even mapping out distances right now. We’re more interested in seeing how his arm responds to even the light throwing.”
- Blue Jays southpaw T.J. House left the team’s game against the Tigers in an ambulance Friday after a line drive struck him in the head. Fortunately, he didn’t suffer any skull fractures and is “doing well,” GM Ross Atkins told Jayson Stark of ESPN on Saturday. The club will be “extremely conservative” in deciding when to clear House to return to the mound, Atkins added.