Colby Lewis, a former first round draft pick for the Rangers, had an undistinguished stint in the majors. OK, that’s putting it a bit lightly. He had a 6.71 ERA, splitting time between starting and relieving over five seasons. He then went on to Japan for a couple of years where he seemed to find himself: He went 15-8 with a 2.68 ERA and a 183/27 K/BB ratio in 178 innings in 2008 and went 11-9 with a 2.96 ERA and a 186/19 K/BB in 176 1/3
IP last season.
Back in December it was reported that he wanted to come back to the U.S. due to some family health problems. Now it seems that the Rangers want him back.
Lewis would be a nice pickup for Texas. If his success in Japan came because he finally figured out how to pitch, he could be a valuable addition to a Rangers team that has a legitimate shot in the AL West this season. If he’s just a fluke of the Central League, no big loss, because it’s not like he’s going to command $7 million or anything.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.