Lewis returning, but timing hinges on Beltre
Rangers to see if third baseman needs DL stint and plan roster move accordingly
ARLINGTON -- Colby Lewis is joining the Rangers' rotation, but his return is being delayed a few days until the club determines if third baseman Adrian Beltre needs to go on the disabled list.
Beltre has been diagnosed with a mild strain in his left quad muscle. The Rangers will wait through the weekend to see if he progresses enough to avoid going on the disabled list.
"It's better than being more severe, but anytime you lose a guy -- one of your best guys is compromised -- it's not a great feeling," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said.
Lewis, who has not pitched in the Major Leagues since July 18, 2012, was supposed to pitch on Saturday. But the Rangers were off on Thursday, which means they don't need a fifth starter until potentially Tuesday. The Rangers are instead pushing Lewis back so that they don't have to make a roster move until they have a better idea of what's happening with Beltre.
"At the end of the weekend, my expectation is he's going to say he's OK, because he's so competitive," Daniels said. "But we're going to have to make sure him playing is not going to risk anything. We're buying ourselves a few days to make an evaluation and make a decision."
The Rangers have to make a roster move to add Lewis. If Beltre goes on the disabled list, then the move is obvious. If Beltre stays active, then Texas would have to either option or outright one of its position players or a reliever to Triple-A. Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who was called up Wednesday, has an option left, as do outfielders Jim Adduci and Michael Choice and pitcher Daniel McCutchen.
The Rangers are planning to pitch Yu Darvish, Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez during their three-game home series against the Astros that starts Friday. Robbie Ross Jr. and Lewis will pitch Monday and Tuesday, although Texas hasn't decided the order.
Lewis was 32-29 with a 3.93 ERA in 80 starts for the Rangers from 2010-12 and 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight postseason starts. But he was shut down with elbow trouble midway through the 2012 season and underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon on Aug. 2 of that year.
Lewis made seven starts last season in the Minor Leagues on medical rehabilitation assignment, but he was still being bothered by physical issues. The Rangers finally shut him down, and he underwent hip replacement surgery on Aug. 22. Lewis had been bothered by a chronic right hip for several years and finally had the issue addressed.
• The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Thursday that Rangers left-handed pitcher Martire Garcia has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Clomiphene, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension of Garcia, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders of the Texas League, is effective immediately.
• The Rangers have re-signed catcher Chris Gimenez to a Triple-A contract. He was on the Opening Day roster but did not appear in the game. Gimenez was designated for assignment on April 1, cleared waivers and offered outright assignment on April 3, and granted free agency on April 5.
• The Rangers have released catcher Jose Felix from Triple-A Round Rock. Felix has long been considered a standout defensive player and was Texas' Minor League Defender of the Year in 2010. But he never came around as an offensive player like the Rangers hoped.
• The Rangers also released former Major League pitcher Doug Mathis from Round Rock.
• The HOV lanes in both directions along I-30, from Dallas westbound to the Baird Farm Road Bridge in Arlington, are closed for widening and improvements, effective this homestand. These lanes will be closed until August. Fans traveling on I-30 from Dallas should use the exits at SH161, Ballpark Way, AT&T Way or Collins Street for access into the Arlington Entertainment District parking areas. The same access roads should be utilized for egress. The Baird Farm Road Bridge will remain open during the construction process.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.