Former Ranger Lewis to return to MLB

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Citing family health problems, Colby Lewis has decided to leave Japan and return to MLB for the 2010 season.
Lewis was viewed as one of the game’s best pitching prospects for a time at the beginning of the decade, but he was a complete bust for the Rangers. He had a 6.29 ERA in 34 1/3 innings in 2002 and a 7.30 ERA in 26 starts in his first and only full season in 2003. Shoulder surgery followed in May 2004, and he didn’t pitch in the majors against until Aug. 2006. He threw three innings for the Tigers then and 37 2/3 innings for the A’s in 2007, racking up a 6.45 ERA during the latter stint.
While MLB success was still beyond him, Lewis did show pretty good stuff during his time with the A’s and he caught the eyes of the Hiroshima Carp. He turned out to be a smashing success in Japan, going 15-8 with a 2.68 ERA and a 183/27 K/BB ratio in 178 innings. Last season, he finished 11-9 with a 2.96 ERA and a 186/19 K/BB in 176 1/3 IP. In both cases, he led the Central League in strikeouts.
The 30-year-old Lewis throws 89-92 mph these days. His curveball is a strikeout pitch. The changeup might not be there to make him a middle-of-the-rotation guy in the majors, but he’d definitely be worth a shot in the $1 million-$2 million range. That’s especially the case since he has less than four years of service time. Unless he has special language written into his contract, the team that signs him would be able to control him through 2012.

Yasmany Tomas to undergo season-ending core muscle surgery on Tuesday

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The Diamondbacks announced that outfielder Yasmany Tomas will undergo season-ending core muscle surgery on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Tomas has been on the disabled list since June 3 with right groin tendinitis and experienced multiple setbacks during his rehab.

Tomas, 26, was in the midst of a disappointing year before the injury, batting .241/.294/.464 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in 180 plate appearances.

The Diamondbacks acquired J.D. Martinez from the Tigers a month ago to help fill the gap in the outfield. Prior to that trade, Chris Herrmann and Daniel Descalso were handling left field. The D-Backs entered Monday’s action holding the second Wild Card slot in the National League by 2.5 games over the Brewers and trailed the Rockies by one game for the first slot.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.