UPDATE: According to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, the Rangers have confirmed that Lewis will undergo surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. This is not the ulnar collateral ligament, which is associated with Tommy John surgery. Either way, he’s done for 2012.
7:47 PM: Passan is now reporting that Lewis will not undergo Tommy John surgery. The Rangers have yet to make an official announcement on how he’ll proceed.
7:08 PM: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Lewis will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John surgery of his career.
7:07 PM: According to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Lewis was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his throwing arm and is expected to undergo season-ending surgery.
It’s a tough blow for the Rangers, as Lewis has a 3.93 ERA in 80 starts since returning from Japan in 2010. With Roy Oswalt also sidelined, the Rangers could ramp up their efforts to acquire a starting pitcher in the days ahead.
4:42 PM: Colby Lewis came off the disabled list last week, made one start, and is now headed back to the DL with the same forearm problems that sidelined him the first time.
Lewis actually pitched well against the A’s on Wednesday, tossing five innings of one-run ball, but revealed afterward that he exited early because of forearm soreness.
Officially his latest injury is being called forearm tendinitis and the Rangers have recalled Martin Perez from Triple-A to take his spot in the rotation. And with Roy Oswalt’s status uncertain because of his back bad acting up again Perez may stick around for a while this time.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.