Colby Lewis is set to make his first start since 2012

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Colby Lewis last started a big-league game on July 18, 2012, missing the past one-and-a-half seasons following elbow and hip surgeries, but he’s ready to return now.

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Lewis will rejoin the Rangers’ rotation Saturday against the Astros, essentially taking the spot created when Joe Saunders injured his ankle while filling in for Texas’ other injured starters.

Before being derailed by surgeries Lewis was a very solid mid-rotation starter for the Rangers, tossing 506 innings–including back-to-back 200-inning seasons–with a 3.93 ERA and 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

It’s tough predict what Lewis is capable of after so much time off, but he allowed four runs in five innings in a minor-league rehab start Sunday at Triple-A.  Two of the runs were unearned, but he issued three walks compared to two strikeouts and odds are the Rangers wouldn’t be turning to him this soon if not for other injuries wrecking their rotation.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.