Tag: Colby Lewis

Mat Latos

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Braves 12, Marlins 2: I got home from dinner with the kids at about 7:30 last night and turned on the game figuring, heck, it’s probably just the second inning at best. I probably didn’t miss anything. As I turned the game on the top of the first was just ending and the Braves were up 7-0. This is why I always try to be on time for things. Mat Latos’ ERA is 94.50 on the year. But his FIP is much better, so let’s not go crazy, OK? The Braves got 14 hits and drew seven walks. Come June or so, I figure this will be a week’s worth of production. It’s fun now, however.

Orioles 6, Rays 5: Baltimore jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and 6-0 after two and held on as the Rays tried to rally back. Steve Pearce homered for the second straight game, which is not all that good for people who bet the mortgage on “Steve Pearce will fall back to earth after a surprisingly great 2014 season.” Really, though, bookies shouldn’t take that action. It seems shockingly specific and somewhat mean spirited.

Diamondbacks 7, Giants 6: Jake Lamb and David Peralta each hit three-run homers for the snakes, and Lamb drove in another one on a groundout. He had three in the season’s first game. I don’t think that pace is sustainable, but it’s cool. The Giants have played two games and have had three key injuries. That’s not a ratio that’s all that sustainable itself. Here it was Brandon Belt, who strained his groin going after a foul ball.

Rangers 3, Athletics 1: Prince Fielder is back, hitting two RBI singles. Colby Lewis was effective, allowing one run over six. Jeff Banister picks up his first ever win as a manager and afterward was doused in a beer shower. Mmmm . . . beer shoooowwweer.

Angels 2, Mariners 0: A key for the Angels this year is to get one of their erstwhile aces to pitch something like they used to once again. C.J. Wilson is one of those two and in his 2015 debut he did, allowing two hits in eight shutout innings. David Freese being a threat once again is also pretty key for the Angels. He was that last night too, hitting a two-run homer for the game’s only runs. This one lasted a mere two hours and thirteen minutes, by the way. Staying in the box and between innings clocks may help some, but shutdown pitching is pretty key to improving the pace of play as well.

Padres 7, Dodgers 3: On Opening Day the Dodgers scored three late to break a tie and win the game. Last night, tied 3-3 heading into the ninth, the Padres were the ones who broke out, scoring four. One of the runs scored as a result of a bunt that catcher Yasmani Grandal overran while fielding and then threw directly into the back of the batter as he ran to first. That put runners on the corners and an RBI single by Wil Myers broke the tie, with the floodgates opening thereafter. Speaking of floods — or, at the very least, rain — this one was delayed 30 minutes by rain at the outset. Which doesn’t happen in Los Angeles all that much. But at this point I imagine California will endure hundreds of rain delays if they can get some drought relief from it. Speaking of that, go read this. It’s extremely enlightening about why California’s drought is not just California’s problem or fault and why us back east looking down our nose at Californians as somehow the architects of their own disaster is fundamentally wrong.

Rockies 5, Brewers 2: Rockies hitters have 12 doubles in the first two games of the season, tying a major league record that was set in 1912. Six on Opening Day, six last night. Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

Cardinals vs. Cubs: POSTPONED: Frank Lloyd Wright once had a client who phoned him to complain of rain leaking through the roof of the house onto the dining table. Wright’s response: “Move the table.”

Rangers sign Wandy Rodriguez to a minor league contract

Wandy Rodriguez
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After being released by the Braves last week, veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has agreed to a minor league contract with the Rangers.

Rodriguez had a fine showing as a non-roster player with Atlanta this spring and appeared to have a rotation spot locked down at one point. However, the Braves traded for Trevor Cahill last week and opted to go with Eric Stults over Rodriguez for the fifth starter job.

Rodriguez is now 36 and has struggled to stay healthy over the past three years, but he could get an opportunity with the big club if he gets off to a good start with Triple-A Round Rock. With Yu Darvish sidelined, the Rangers are set to go with Yovani Gallardo, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, and Nick Martinez in their starting rotation.

2015 Preview: Texas Rangers

Jeff Banister

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Texas Rangers.

The Big Question: Will this get worse before it gets better?

After five consecutive winning seasons, including back-to-back trips to the World Series, the Rangers’ run of success came to screeching halt last season as injuries decimated the roster. Texas players combined to spend 2,116 days on the disabled list, which is the highest total by any team since DL data started being tracked in 2002. And just one other team during that time, the Diamondbacks in 2004, was above 2,000 days lost.

It was a horror show and not surprisingly the Rangers fell from 91-72 in 2013 to an AL-worst 67-95. Ron Washington stepped down after eight seasons as manager and the Rangers fired interim manager Tim Bogar despite his success down the stretch, giving the job to Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister. When a consistent contender suffers a ridiculous number of injuries and loses 95 games the easy assumption is that they’ll bounce back in a huge way the next season. Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely for the Rangers.

They couldn’t even get out of spring training unscathed by the injury bug, as ace Yu Darvish was lost for the season before it began with Tommy John elbow surgery and former stud prospect Jurickson Profar was ruled out for a second straight season with shoulder problems. Left-hander Martin Perez isn’t unexpected back from Tommy John surgery until midseason and left-hander Matt Harrison is a question mark after spinal fusion surgery. It’s safe to assume the Rangers won’t have another 2,000-plus days of DL time, because it’s safe to assume that about any team, but this is hardly a healthy bunch and losing Darvish is a massive blow.

The good news on the health front is that Prince Fielder looks recovered from the neck injury that ended his season in May and Shin-Soo Choo is one season removed from being good enough that the Rangers gave him $130 million, so if they can get back on track and should-be Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre can continue to hold off father time at age 36 the middle of the lineup can definitely do some damage. Their supporting cast (Ryan Rua, Robinson Chirinos, Elvis Andrus, Mitch Moreland) looks iffy in a lot of spots, though, especially without the promise of Profar emerging as a building block player.

As for the Darvish-less pitching staff … well, FanGraphs projects the Rangers to allow more runs than every MLB team but the Rockies this season and Baseball Prospectus is only slightly less pessimistic in projecting they’ll rank 24th in runs allowed. Derek Holland was injured for most of last season and offseason trade pickup Yovani Gallardo has seen his strikeout rate plummet–and they’re the two best bets in a rotation that’s also home to Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, and Nick Tepesch. And the bullpen is relying an awful lot on a post-surgery Neftali Feliz returning to form.

What else is going on?

  • Allow me to double-back on the “should-be Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre” thing. Most people may not think of him as bound for Cooperstown, but Beltre is a four-time Gold Glove-winning third baseman with a .285 career batting average, 395 homers, and 2,604 hits. And he’s still an elite player, batting .324 with an .879 OPS last season to put 450 homers and 3,000 hits within reach. Among all third basemen in MLB history Beltre ranks seventh in Wins Above Replacement, behind only Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Chipper Jones, and Brooks Robinson. All of those guys are in the Hall of Fame or will be very soon. As if the third baseman one spot behind Adrian in eighth place, Ron Santo. Adrian Beltre should be a Hall of Famer.
  • Profar was the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball two years ago, so having to wait until 2016 to see what remains of his upside is sad. Texas still has a really good, really young middle infielder with tons of upside in Rougned Odor, who debuted last season at age 20 and held his own with a .700 OPS in 114 games as the youngest regular in the entire league. Odor’s approach at the plate is very raw and his K/BB ratios aren’t pretty, but he was one of just eight 20-year-old middle infielders in MLB history to play 100-plus games and post an adjusted OPS+ of at least 95. The last four to do so? Starlin Castro in 2010, Alex Rodriguez in 1996, Roberto Alomar in 1988, and Bill Mazeroski in 1957.
  • Gallardo was a really good, durable, and generally underrated starter for the Brewers, but his annual strikeout rate has dipped from 9.0 to 7.2 to 6.8 and his average fastball now clocks in at 91 miles per hour. He induces enough ground balls to avoid being totally wrecked by calling the Rangers’ power-inflating ballpark home, but switching from the NL to the AL may shine a light on the 29-year-old impending free agent’s deteriorating skills.
  • Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, Choo is owed $20 million per season through 2020, and Andrus is owed $15 million per season through 2022. Those are the three players around which general manager Jon Daniels has decided to build and if they don’t start making good on those long-term investments it’s going to be extremely difficult to turn things around quickly.

Prediction: Fewer disabled list stints and slightly fewer losses, but another last-place finish in the AL West.

Report: Rangers, Phillies still discussing Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Phillies and Rangers are still discussing a potential trade involving pitcher Cole Hamels. Heyman adds that both sides still appear to be far apart and there isn’t much optimism that a deal would be reached, but the door hasn’t been shut yet.

The Rangers recently lost Yu Darvish for the season to Tommy John surgery and are hurting for starting rotation help. Ross Detwiler, Nick Martinez, Nick Tepesch, and Anthony Ranaudo are competing for spots at the back of the rotation behind Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, and Derek Holland. The Rangers hope Holland — who had microfracture knee surgery last year — will be ready to go not too long after the regular season begins.

The Phillies, meanwhile, are in the midst of a rebuild. They have been openly shopping Hamels for quite some time, but are holding out for a significant haul of prospects. The Padres had talked with the Phillies before signing James Shields, and the Red Sox still remain interested but aren’t willing to part with Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart to acquire the lefty.