As reported by Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are fully expected to exercise right-hander Colby Lewis’ $3.25 million club option for 2012 by Monday’s midnight deadline.
Lewis has topped 200 innings in back-to-back seasons, registering a 3.72 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 2010 and a 4.40 ERA with 169 strikeouts in 2011.
If the 32-year-old’s numbers remain as productive in 2012, he’ll be a major bargain at $3.25 million.
Lewis reinvented himself in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league in 2008 and 2009 after fizzling out as a long reliever in the major leagues. He returned to the states in 2010 as a solid mid-rotation starter and could capitalize in free agency next winter if his 2012 season goes smoothly. The righty has a 2.34 ERA in eight career postseason outings.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: