The MLB created a paternity leave list last year that went into effect for the 2011 season. Starting pitcher Colby Lewis is the first player to make use of this new list. The new rule allows for any player to be on the paternity leave list for a maximum of 3 days.
While his wife gave birth in Bakerfield, California, on Wednesday to a little girl whom they named Elizabeth Grace, Lewis wasn’t placed on the new paternity list until today and will not rejoin the team until Monday. He is currently expected to make his next start, which is scheduled for Tuesday in Arlington against the Los Angeles Angels.
In Lewis’ absence, the club has recalled LHP Michael Kirkman from AAA Round Rock to replace Lewis on the active roster. After having a bullpen day on Wednesday, the club didn’t want to be short on the availability of pitchers with the weekend’s upcoming series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Kirkman has started two games this season for the Round Rock Express and is 0-1 with an ugly 16.20 earned run average. His debut in the Major Leagues was last year. In 14 relief appearances during the final six weeks of the 2010 MLB season, Kirkman went 0-0 with an impressive earned run average of 1.65. Hopefully, he can pick up where he left off last season if he finds himself needed on the mound.
With the Rangers recalling Kirkman, RHP Tanner Scheppers was activated from the 7-day DL, where he had been due to lower back issues and is currently expected to start against New Orleans on Saturday, which will be the second game of a four-game series and is also the first road trip for the Express.