Colby Lewis unlikely to make the 25-man roster


Mar 15, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis (48) pitches in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Surprise, Ariz – With Opening day now less than 2 weeks away, the Texas Rangers starting rotation is starting to develop.  Colby Lewis probably won’t be in the who makes the starting rotation conversion   When spring training it was very unlikely that Lewis would be able to make the rotation.  Once Derek Holland went down it seemed that Matt Harrison or Lewis had to return to fill the void.

It won’t happen  Even though Lewis is healthy and is getting in game time, he still doesn’t appear to be ready for a position in the starting rotation.  He hasn’t gone longer than 2 innings during spring training and has had a maximum pitch count of 32 (March 3).  Also, looking at his stats, he isn’t quite there yet.  He current has a 18.00 ERA with 2 strike outs over 4 starts / 4.0 innings.  He has thrown 79 pitches with 37 of them for strikes.  Lewis is notably one of the best postseason pitchers the Texas Rangers have ever had, but nostalgia alone won’t help him win a spot on the roster.  After his rough game on Saturday, Lewis commented on his thoughts about making the rotation.

"“I’ve got to get outs,” Lewis said. “If I’m not getting outs, I don’t think that it’s very fair for me to make the club over someone who is shoving. Hopefully I get a couple more opportunities this spring.” (Star-Telegram -Jeff Wilson)"

Where will he go – If Lewis doesn’t make the 25-man roster he’ll likely end up at AAA Round Rock.   Having Colby Lewis sent to Round Rock has 2 advantages.  First, it is close to the Dallas/Arlington area.  Secondly, he’ll have the chance to pitch to some really good batters and will have plenty of chances to prove he can do the job and he is able to last until the 6th inning or later.

Who will replace him –  At this point it looks like the Texas Rangers will keep Joe Saunders and Tommy Hanson on the roster.  Both of them could get some spot starts and be used as long relievers.  The Rangers will have to pay up if they do use Hanson or Saunders on the major league roster, but it would be a better option than having Lewis pitch if he isn’t ready.

Another Chance – Will Lewis get another chance before Opening day?   Yes, I’m sure Washington and the Rangers will look at him every chance they get.  Washington has said that no one is working harder than Lewis and the he does bring a lot of leadership to the clubhouse.  But, that alone won’t get him on the 25-man roster.

"“We’re certainly not going to be sentimental and give Colby a pitching spot on this team,” Washington said. “If Colby gets a pitching spot on this team, it’s because he won it.”  (Star-Telegram -Jeff Wilson)"

With just under 2 weeks left before Opening day, Lewis will need to prove he can pitch deeper in a game and preform better.  While it is unlikely he’ll make it, the time will allow Greg Maddux and his staff evaluate Lewis up close before he is moved the the minors.  I’m optimistic that once in the minors for a month or two, he could make the move up to the Rangers rotation.