David Ross could have been retired twice in his second-inning at-bat against Kyle Lohse on Friday. Fortunately for him, he got a couple of breaks before turning a changeup into a two-run homer, giving the Braves an early 2-0 lead over the Cardinals.
Lohse’s 1-1 pitch to Ross was a fastball popped up down the first-base line. Allen Craig made his way towards the stands, only to pull up a little short and alligator arm the ball in the end. Had he been more aggressive, he may well have caught it.
That made it 1-2. Lohse then threw a changeup than Ross swung through, but the umpire had called time, apparently at Ross’s request. Ross, not knowing if it would be granted, stayed in the box and swung at the pitch. He got the good news afterwards.
Lohse then went right back to the changeup for some reason. It proved to be a huge mistake, as Ross deposited it over the wall in left-center.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon was released from his minor league deal with the Rangers on Saturday, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports. Despite his strong showing in spring training, Colon wasn’t considered a lock to make the Opening Day rotation. This may not be the end of his time with the team, however — according to multiple reports, the Rangers have expressed their desire to restructure a minor league deal with the right-hander and could work out an arrangement to keep him on as bullpen and Triple-A depth this season.
Colon, 44, is preparing for his 21st year in the majors. He split his 2017 campaign with the Braves and Twins, posting a cumulative 7-14 record in 28 starts and finishing the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings. While those numbers were some of the worst he’d seen since 2009, the veteran righty made a compelling case in camp this spring, holding batters to six earned runs, four home runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings.
The Rangers are expected to open the season with a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Perez is working his way back from an elbow injury in his non-throwing arm and is slated to miss his first start of the season, which would provide a brief window of opportunity for Colon when the Rangers hit the road in April.