At the start of the 2014 season, the expectations surrounding Colby Lewis were uncertain. He was returning from surgeries to his elbow and hip after missing the entire 2013 season. The hip surgery was the more difficult to come back from and there were questions as to whether Lewis could even pitch again, let alone get to a point where he could be dependable.
Well, not only has Lewis returned to pitching, he has a chance to lead the Texas Rangers in victories should he defeat the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night at Globe Life Park in his final start of the season.
Lewis already leads the team in innings pitched (163 1/3), and his remarkable season -- despite a 10-14 record and 5.34 ERA in 28 starts -- should make him a candidate for AL Comeback Player of the Year.
“For us, hands down it'd be Colby,” interim manager Tim Bogar said. “The significance of his injury compared to some other players should be considered too. That’s something no one has ever done before. What he’s done out there on the mound has been pretty special, actually.”
Lewis, 35, got off to a slow start (opponents hit .353 off him in first half of the season), but since the All-Star break he has a 4.08 ERA that has dropped his overall ERA from 6.54 to where it sits now. Opponents are hitting .252 against him since the break, and he has gone at least six innings in nine of his last 11 outings.
“I think for me it means I was healthy all year, and I think that’s how I look at it,” Lewis said. “If (Yu) Darvish were healthy he probably would lead the team (in wins). I just, from the beginning, I was fortunate to go out every fifth day and take the opportunity and take it.“
Lewis’ future, much like the start of his season, is in doubt. He wants to return in 2015 and mentioned that to GM Jon Daniels on the last road trip. No contract talks have taken place, just a lunch room chat between Lewis and Daniels, nothing more.
“I just feel like I’ve been here the majority of my career, and I just want to have something on the table for me to lay in bed and think about,” he said. “That’s all I really want is something to have a baseline right now and go from there.”