Josh Lewin won't be back as Rangers' play-by-play announcer

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Rangers television analyst Tom Grieve has agreed to a three-year contract extension, but the team announced today that play-by-play man Josh Lewin will not be back after nine seasons on the job.
Lewin and the Rangers seem to have parted ways on good terms, but he’s generally considered one of the best in the business and letting him go is certainly curious. Lewin also does national games for FOX and is the San Diego Chargers’ announcer, so the Rangers may have wanted someone available to them exclusively.
I’ve often tuned into Rangers’ games specifically because I enjoyed the Lewin-Grieve pairing and as a Minnesotan would gladly pay several hundred dollars per season to have Lewin announce Twins games. He’s smart and funny, and had an excellent on-air chemistry with Grieve. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t land another prominent play-by-play gig and wouldn’t be surprised if leaving the Rangers led to a higher-profile position.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.