Right-hander A.J. Griffin is likely to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday and start the series opener against the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
The only thing standing between Griffin and the start is a problem-free bullpen session Tuesday. Griffin would be the choice over Nick Martinez, who started Saturday, and left-hander Cesar Ramos, who started June 13, in place of Yu Darvish.
Griffin could likely give the Rangers 90 pitches.
“That’s about what we’ve got in the tank in that spot anyways,” Banister said. “He feels all right. We’ll see where he’s at. The reports have been good.”
Griffin threw 77 pitches in five innings Sunday for Double A Frisco, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks. He struck out seven in his third rehab start after recovering from tightness in his shoulder.
The injury has become an afterthought after 10 1/3 innings with Frisco.
“I’m bouncing back like normal, and I feel good,” Griffin said. “I like the results and the execution of pitches.”
For Colby Lewis, his last start is out of sight and out of mind, until the media asks him about it.
He came within four outs of a perfect game and three outs of a no-hitter Thursday before finishing with a complete-game two-hitter in a 5-1 victory over the Oakland A’s.
Lewis hasn’t gone back to look at the eighth-inning walk to Yonder Alonso or the double by Max Muncy to start the ninth. Lewis doesn’t need to.
“I haven’t looked at all,” he said. “I know what I did. I did what I’ve been doing the last seven years since I’ve been back [from Japan]. I went there and competed, made good pitches and gave the team a shot to win.”
Lewis was extended to a season-high 109 pitches, but it was an economical total. He threw 106 pitches in seven innings May 4. Lewis will face a Cincinnati team that had an off day Monday but is batting only .239.
Lewis has never started against the Reds and is 10-9 with a 4.61 ERA in his career in interleague play. He doesn’t think his lack of familiarity puts him at an advantage.
“I don’t think it really makes a difference,” he said.
Lewis will look to become the fourth starter in Rangers history to open a season 7-0 as a member of the season-opening rotation (Alexi Ogando, 2011; Bobby Witt, 1997; Jim Kern, 1979).
Third-base coach Tony Beasley was back in the Rangers’ clubhouse after completing five weeks of treatments for rectal cancer earlier this month, and he will stay with the Rangers until having surgery Aug. 22.
Beasley had been in Houston at MD Anderson Cancer Center for radiation treatments. He said that he won’t be able to resume coaching third base, leaving those duties to Spike Owen, but will be traveling with the team.
“All the tests and all the blood work continue to be good,” Beasley said. “I feel good. I feel really good.”
▪ The Rangers signed former lefty reliever Neal Cotts to a Triple A contract, and he will report Tuesday to Round Rock. Cotts, who pitched for the Rangers in 2013 and 2014, will be with his third organization of the season.
▪ Fifth-round draft choice Kyle Roberts, a left-hander from Henry Ford Community College in Michigan, was assigned to the Arizona League. The Rangers signed their first 14 selections in the First-Year Player Draft earlier this month.