Rangers pitcher will miss the rest of the season

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Rangers pitcher will miss the rest of the season

From Comcast SportsNet
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis will miss the rest of the season because of a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. Lewis was evaluated by team physician Dr. Keith Meister before Monday's game against the Boston Red Sox and elected to have surgery. Meister will perform the operation this week and Lewis is expected to be sidelined for nine to 12 months. "It's a disappointment," he said. "Not only to me, but to my family, my teammates and the organization." Texas manager Ron Washington called Lewis the team's "anchor." "You always knew what you'd get when you put Colby Lewis out there, and it's usually pretty great," Washington said. Lewis is 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts this season. The right-hander has been a key member of a steady rotation that's helped Texas win consecutive AL pennants the past two years. He is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight postseason starts. The Rangers put Lewis on the disabled list Monday and recalled rookie left-hander Martin Perez. Lewis was on the disabled list from June 24 to July 17 with right forearm tendinitis. He made one start after returning, allowing one run and three hits over five innings in Oakland last Wednesday. Lewis said he felt good for three innings during that start but his arm tightened up in the fourth and fifth. "I didn't want to push it. I didn't want everything to pop," Lewis said, adding that an MRI before he went on the DL in June revealed a small tear. Lewis, who turns 33 next month, was Texas' opening-day starter this year. He won at least 12 games and reached 200 innings each of the past two seasons. The Rangers had another pitching injury Monday when Roy Oswalt missed his scheduled start because of back stiffness. Scott Feldman came out of the bullpen to start. Lewis was scheduled to pitch the second game of the series against Boston. Unless he's needed in relief Monday night, Perez will start in Lewis' place Tuesday. Perez made his major league debut for the Rangers this month and was recalled five days after being sent to Triple-A Round Rock. He is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in four appearances for Texas, including two starts. "I was told that I did what they expected of me. I didn't get mad because they sent me down," Perez said through a translator. With Lewis out for the season and Oswalt ailing, the AL West leaders must quickly evaluate what moves they might want to make before the July 31 trade deadline. Fellow starters Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland have all spent time on the DL this season. Texas reliever Alexi Ogando, who has started in the past, recently came off the disabled list. General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers have been "monitoring the market." "We've had guys out there looking and had conversations with clubs," Daniels said. Daniels said Feliz has at least two more scheduled starts for Triple-A Round Rock. Holland is slated to pitch Wednesday against Boston. Oswalt was examined by Dr. Mike McCann on Monday in Houston, where he received an injection in his lower back. According to a Rangers spokesman, Oswalt is optimistic that he will return for his next scheduled outing Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. Ogando came back last Tuesday and has pitched three innings in four games out of the bullpen. Daniels said he could be a candidate to be moved into the starting rotation. Lewis had Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm in high school and right shoulder surgery in 2004. "(Losing Lewis) is a blow for us, but it's something we're going to recover from," Daniels said. "It's an opportunity for someone to step up. I feel bad for Colby, he's been a warrior. He's pitched a ton of innings and he's been such a leader by example." Washington acknowledged that Perez pitched only two innings in his latest minor league appearance Friday night against Omaha because of the concern over Lewis' status. "If he starts (Tuesday), there is no pitch limit. It would just depend on how effective he is," Washington said. "The guy has proved he can pitch here, so we didn't hesitate to bring him back. I told him he would be back when a situation presents itself, and it presented."

Veljko Paunovic talks Fire's identity, home vs. away record and positive signs

Veljko Paunovic talks Fire's identity, home vs. away record and positive signs

Veljko Paunovic has talked about the Chicago Fire forming an identity throughout his first season as the club’s coach.

Now that he is nearly five months into the season, he says the team is starting to form that identity.

“We are committed to our style now, which is being tough,” Paunovic said on Wednesday during a conference call with reporters. “Our identity is being a tough team at home, a team that fights until the end of the game, to win the game and we have that positive result for us. We fight to defend it.”

Despite being in last place in Major League Soccer, Paunovic says he has seen enough positive things from the club, at least in terms of improvement compared to the start of the season. The Fire are unbeaten in eight straight games at Toyota Park and have won three straight league games there.

[SHOP: Get your own Fire home jersey right here]

Now the road record, that’s another story. Even if you forgive the part of the current league-record 35-match road winless streak that Paunovic didn’t oversee, the Fire have been bad on the road this season, and have gotten worse. Since two promising draws at Orlando and New York City FC in the beginning of the season, the Fire have lost eight in a row away from home.

Paunovic hasn’t been shy about addressing that record, but that doesn’t fit as well with this identity he says the team is forming. The Serbian coach remains an optimist though.

“I think we improved overall, especially with the addition of Michael de Leeuw we improved in our performance in attack,” he said. “Then also it was very important for me to see in the last game in New England we were very, very close to winning. I’m not saying to tie the game, we were very close to winning. If we scored the opportunities that we had, if we scored one goal I think we would win that game. Again it was a learning experience for us. We finally had that feeling that we can win on the road and we’re just going to help build and improve on that.”

In a few other Fire news tidbits from the conference call and training on Wednesday, Paunovic said Razvan Cocis and Joey Calistri are nearing returns from injury, but are still not at 100 percent. Calistri, who had to pull out of Wednesday’s MLS Homegrown Game as part of the All-Star Game festivities, was in training on Wednesday and sounds like the closer of the two to returning.

Paunovic remained tight-lipped when asked about potential additions before the transfer window closes Aug. 3. The Fire have 19-year-old South Korean forward Jung-Hyun Seo, who was at Wednesday’s training session, with the team on a trial.

Tom Thibodeau on Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah leaving Bulls: 'It doesn't last forever'

Tom Thibodeau on Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah leaving Bulls: 'It doesn't last forever'

The winds of change are becoming as constant in the NBA as it is in the NFL, as players and coaches are seemingly more associated with their own brands than they are their employers.

Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is living proof of that and wasn’t surprised the winds caught his former bookends Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, as both will start next season as members of the New York Knicks.

Rose was traded before the draft in a multi-player deal while Noah signed a $72 million deal in free agency to go back to his native city.

“It’s sort of the nature of the league. It doesn’t last forever,” said Thibodeau, as the USA Men’s National Basketball team prepares for the Olympics with an exhibition contest against Venezuela Friday night at the United Center. “That was a special group of guys. From where they started, and unfortunately the injuries derailed it some but it was a very prideful group, a proud group.”

Rose and Noah’s best years were with Thibodeau on the sidelines, with Rose winning Most Valuable Player in 2011 and Noah finishing fourth in voting in 2014 before injuries caught them both.

“They never gave up, never succumbed to the circumstances,” Thibodeau said. “They found different ways to win, different guys stepped up. That’s the way the league works. Over time, people leave with free agency, change teams. I’m happy for those guys that they’re gonna get another opportunity. They’ve earned it.”

[MORE: Jimmy Butler says he no longer wears a chip on his shoulder]

Thibodeau’s five-year run in Chicago certainly ended controversially and definitely left many wondering “what if”, but it he knew it wouldn’t be long before taking another position like the one he accepted to become coach and president of the Minnesota Timberwolves this spring.

As usual, he was gracious about the time he spent in Chicago, and the city itself.

“A lot of great memories. Five years coaching and I stayed last year,” Thibodeau said. “I love the city, the fans were great to me the whole time. You look back, you think of all the great memories you have. Great history, great tradition and we had great guys. It was very enjoyable to coach that team.”

Surprisingly, the workaholic coach said the time off was good for him, as it likely gave him a chance for reflection and an opportunity to rejuvenate himself physically and mentally from the unforgiving NBA grind.

“When you take a step back, and you don’t have the next team to worry about, you take a broader view of things,” Thibodeau said. “You get a lot of new ideas, it’s a chance to recharge. You learn a lot. Sometimes taking a step back is a good thing.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans]

The next time Thibodeau walks across the United Center floor after Friday night, he’ll be in gametime mode as head coach of the Timberwolves, doing everything he can to get a win.

The smiles will dissipate and the general ease in which he interacts with the media and other personnel will disappear. But for right now, he’s an assistant to USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski for another Olympic run, hoping to help keep the United States on top of the global basketball world.

“This has been an incredible experience for me, to be around the great players and the hall of fame basketball people you’re around,” Thibodeau said

Bulls sign guard Spencer Dinwiddie

Bulls sign guard Spencer Dinwiddie

The Bulls announced Thursday that the team has signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Dinwiddie was acquired by the Bulls in mid-June, but he was then waived by the team at the start of July. Now, with an open roster spot, the Bulls will bring Dinwiddie back to serve as depth in the backcourt. 

He was a member of the 2016 Chicago Bulls NBA Summer League squad, and he averaged 10.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 24.6 minutes through seven games during the team’s successful tournament run in Las Vegas.

Dinwiddie spent the first two seasons of his career with the Detroit Pistons, where he posted 4.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game. A product of the University of Colorado, the 23-year-old was selected by the Pistons in the second round (38th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft.