Rangers sign Derek Lowe to minor league contract

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UPDATE: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the deal is done.

3:45 PM: Derek Lowe is close to agreeing to a minor-league deal with the Rangers, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

Grant seems to suggest that Lowe will make the Opening Day pitching staff, although it’s hard to imagine why that would be guaranteed for a 40-year-old coming off back-to-back seasons with an ERA above 5.00.

Lowe could start or relieve, and if he does make the team out of spring training he’d presumably be keeping a spot warm until Colby Lewis and/or Martin Perez get healthy. Last season for the Braves and Indians he posted a 5.11 ERA in 143 innings with a .321 opponents’ batting average and nearly as many walks (51) as strikeouts (55).

Hunter Pence appeared as guest on Bill Nye’s new show

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Bill Nye — yeah, “the science guy” — has a new show on Netflix called Bill Nye Saves the World. His show ties science to other areas such as politics, pop culture, and sports. Giants outfielder Hunter Pence was invited to appear as a guest.

Nye talked a bit about Pence and marveled at the dedication players must have to stay competitive in the sport. Nye called Pence “a cool guy” and “charming,” which is not surprising.

Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start with forearm tightness

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Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.

Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.