Rangers righty Colby Lewis was cleared to begin a throwing program earlier this month and is on a good pace in his recovery from a July procedure to repair a torn flexor tendon in his throwing elbow. The club’s other rehabbing starter is also making progress.
According to Anthony Andro, Rangers beat writer for FOX Sports Southwest, the Texas medical staff is “pleased with where Neftali Feliz is in his rehab” from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, which he underwent back in early August.
“Nefty is doing well,” confirmed Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. “He’s coming into Arlington in a couple of weeks to get checked up by (team doctor Keith) Meister and then will report out in Arizona to continue his rehab. Everything’s on schedule.”
If all continues to go according to plan, Feliz could be ready to rejoin the Rangers’ starting rotation by next September. Lewis is expected to return at some point before the All-Star break.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.