Two former top Draft picks of the Rangers will face each other on Tuesday, when Colby Lewis pitches against John Danks at U.S. Cellular Field.
Lewis was the 38th overall pick by the Rangers in 1999, although his current tenure in Texas began when he was signed as a free agent out of Japan in 2010. Danks was the Rangers' first-round pick (ninth overall) in 2003; he was traded to the White Sox on Dec. 23, 2006.
Both pitchers find themselves in interesting situations. Lewis, who missed 18 months because of elbow and hip surgery, will be a free agent after the season and is starting to show that he might be worth re-signing.
Lewis is 1-2 with a 3.44 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break after going 6-6 with a 6.54 ERA in 16 first-half starts. His opponents' batting average has gone from .353 before the break to .235 following the Midsummer Classic.
"I feel like my location is the key," Lewis said. "I have been able to keep the ball down on both sides of the plate. I have been getting stronger as the game goes along and as the year goes along."
That's what the Rangers are going to be looking at over the next two months. If Lewis continues to pitch like this, it increases the chances of him returning.
"I feel like I've done what I need to do to get back and be healthy," he said. "[Texas] is home. We'll see what the end of the year brings, what the front office wants to do and what direction they are going. This is where I want to be."
Danks is signed for the next two years and will make $14.25 million in each of them, but the White Sox did explore the possibility of trading him before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. He was happy when nothing materialized that interested the White Sox.
"This is where I'm comfortable," Danks said. "I've gotten to know a lot of lifelong friends here, and I'm happy to be here."
Of course, that doesn't preclude a trade happening in August. Players can be dealt if they pass through waivers, though it's unlikely that a club will claim Danks, because it would be responsible for the rest of his contract. That could be the biggest obstacle to a trade right now.
"It's always hard to say [goodbye] to guys," he said. "We are together with them more than we are with our families. You get to know all the guys in here, and you kind of build a friendship with everybody and certainly hate to see people go. But fortunately, we don't have to worry about that."
White Sox: Bullpen trying to bounce back
The White Sox made a roster move on Monday, calling up pitcher Maikel Cleto from Triple-A Charlotte and sending down pitcher Taylor Thompson. The move comes one day after the White Sox bullpen allowed 15 runs in a loss to the Twins.
The outing left White Sox relievers with a 4.30 ERA on the season. That would be their highest since 2007. The 15 runs were the most allowed by a bullpen in one game.
"It can be tough at times, but that's part of your job -- go back out and find a way to do it," manager Robin Ventura said. "You get a clean slate, and you go back out and do it. It's harder to do sometimes than other times, but when it's hard, that's when you really need to pull up and be able to do it. On the other hand, there's not another option. You either go out and face it, or you don't play baseball anymore. It's pretty simple."
Rangers: Arencibia still wants to catch
J.P. Arencibia was out of the lineup on Monday so that Mike Carp could start at first base. Arencibia, a right-handed hitter, is expected to be in there on Tuesday against left-hander Danks and again on Wednesday against lefty Chris Sale.
Arencibia will be playing first base, his primary position since being recalled from Triple-A on July 17, even though he has been a catcher for his entire professional career.
"I want to catch," Arencibia said, "but right now I'll do anything to help the team -- play first, DH, center field, shortstop. Just get in the lineup and help."
For a few days, Arencibia will serve as the backup catcher, as Chris Gimenez left the team to be with his wife, Kellie, who is close to giving birth. Gimenez will likely miss the entire White Sox series. Manager Ron Washington will likely go with Robinson Chirinos as his catcher for all three games. Gimenez caught the last two games in Cleveland.
• Danks is 33-41 at U.S. Cellular Field, for a .446 winning percentage. That's the lowest all-time among White Sox pitchers with at least 100 starts at home in club history.
• On Monday, for the 35th time this season, the Rangers lost a game in which they once led. That's most in the Major Leagues, six more than the White Sox and Blue Jays.
• Texas' Elvis Andrus has an 11-game hitting streak.
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.