Monday, October 29, 2012
Moment No. 9: Colby Lewis lost for season
By Richard Durrett
Editor's Note: Before we shift our complete focus to the 2013 season, let's take a quick look back at 10 memorable moments -- games, signings, events -- from the 2012 campaign. By memorable, we mean both good and bad moments.
2012 MEMORABLE MOMENTS
ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett relives the 10 most memorable moments from the Rangers' season:
Memorable Moment No. 9:Colby Lewis is lost for the season with an elbow injury.
No one can question Lewis' toughness, that's for sure. The veteran pitcher knew he had a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow, but wanted to pitch. He came off the disbled list (he was on there starting June 26 with right forearm tendinitis) to make one start July 18 at Oakland and was able to grind it out, but he knew it couldn't last. So he had surgery to repair the torn flexor tendon July 27.
Losing a steady force in the rotation like Colby Lewis was a big blow to the Rangers.
It was a big blow to the Rangers' hopes for a deep postseason run. Cliff Lee was the big name in 2010, but it was Lewis who had the overall better postseason numbers. C.J. Wilson fronted the rotation in 2011, but Lewis was once again the steady force in the group. Losing someone who was 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight playoff starts in 2010 and 2011 certainly hurt the club.
It was also a bad break for Lewis, who has put up with a hip condition and is a grinder, getting the ball every fifth day. He went to Japan for two years and found his command, returned to the big leagues with Texas in 2010 and pitched more than 200 innings for the first time in his big league career. He did it again in 2011 and at the end of both years was a stalwart in the playoffs.
The loss of Lewis thinned the pitching staff further. Neftali Feliz was also injured and ended up out for the year after Tommy John surgery on Aug. 1. Texas appeared to have plenty of depth in the starting rotation in spring training, but that quickly dissipated. Lewis' injury (and Feliz's, too) started a ripple effect that ended up putting Justin Grimm in the big leagues to make his debut and led to Martin Perez coming up. It also forced the front office to do something at the trade deadline to try to bolster the rotation, which is how Ryan Dempster ended up in Texas.
Lewis, who was 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts before his season ended, had successful surgery and has begun rehab. The club hopes he can be a huge midseason addition in 2013 and once again be that rock in the rotation. But losing him in the middle of the summer was a tough blow.