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.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.