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.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.