More bad news for Cliff Lee.
The left-hander has turned in an 8.28 ERA over his last four starts and is now being scratched from his scheduled Tuesday start due to a strained muscle on the right side of his lower back. This according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.
Lee threw off a mound Sunday and showed improvement, but the Rangers don’t want to risk further injury. They have nearly locked up a playoff spot for the first time since 1999 and having a healthy ace in October is crucial to postseason success.
Lee, 32, has posted a 10-8 record, a 3.37 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 24 total starts this season. He’s fanned 161 batters in 184.1 innings and has walked only 12.
The Rangers may push him back until the weekend, when they have a big series with the Yankees.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.
Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.
Last week Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. That’s bad, but it turns out that it’s nothing new. The Yonhapnews Agency reports that Kang has been arrested for DUI three times since 2009:
Gangnam Police Station in southern Seoul confirmed that it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, with the three strikes law resulting in the immediate revocation of his license. According to police, Kang had also been arrested for a DUI in August 2009 and May 2011. No personal injuries were reported in either case, though he’d caused property damage in the latter incident.
The report also notes that a companion of Kang initially claimed that he, and not Kang, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident which led to Kang’s arrest last week. It was later revealed by the car’s black box, however, that Kang was driving. So add in some obstruction of justice, whether it is charged or not, to the scene. Police are investigating that.
Between all of this and the fact that Kang is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago this past season, a pretty ugly portrait of the Pirates’ infielder is beginning to reveal itself.