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.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)