Colby Lewis has missed nearly two years following elbow surgery and a hip replacement, but the 34-year-old right-hander is finally ready for game action again in Rangers camp.
Lewis, who re-signed with Texas on a minor-league contract, is scheduled to pitch in an intrasquad game Tuesday. Here’s what he told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com about his status:
The Rangers have been gracious to give me another opportunity this year to try to make the club. That’s all I can do is go out there and perform with what I’ve got. If it’s good enough, I’ll make the club. If it’s not, we’ll see what’s out there.
Which seems to suggest he’d rather opt out of the contract than accept an assignment to Triple-A if he doesn’t crack the Opening Day roster. Lewis’ deal would be worth $2 million in upfront money if he makes the team, plus another $4 million in potential incentives.
His entire career has been full of injuries, so Lewis is definitely someone to root for. Prior to the latest injury setbacks he threw 506 innings with a 3.93 ERA for the Rangers from 2011-2013.
The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.
At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.
Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.
From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.
Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.