May 12, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Texas Rangers right-handed pitcher Colby Lewis hasn’t has the season he has hoped so far. Lewis was a big part of both of the Rangers World Series runs, but right now it doesn’t look like he’s doing much to help this year.
After 10 starts this season, Colby Lewis has yet to have a quality start. At least his record doesn’t clearly show that. He has managed to do well enough to have a record of 4-4, but his 5.77 ERA isn’t anything to be happy about.
It might not all be completely Lewis’s fault. There have been several games where Lewis did pitch well and kept the score low, but it seems once he reaches around 85-90 pitches he runs out of gas. It is either that or the opposing team has seen him enough and figured things out against Lewis.
There was a lot of optimism when Lewis first started this season from many, but several have said that the old Lewis is completely gone.
What was the old Colby Lewis like?
Here is a look at his stats from 2010-2012
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Before he was injured Lewis was one of the best pitchers on the Rangers staff. And his postseason performance was amazing. Lewis may not be amazing like he was from 2010-2012, but he still has something in the tank. Yes, he does struggle at time, but he does still have the ability to out think batters.
So how well has Colby Lewis been doing this year against batters? First, how did he do before the injury and surgery. Looking back to 2010, 2011 and 2012 opposing batters had an average of .227, .244 and .245 respectively. This year he has an opposing batters average of .338. With it that high, it is a little surprising his ERA and record are not worse.
To make things worse, he’s not pitching much better with runners in scoring position. Again, looking back to 2010, 2011, and 2012 opposing batters had an average of .187, .255 and .210 respectively. This season it is a sky high .309. Compare that to the gold standard of Yu Darvish which is .140 and it’s easy to see why his ERA is so high.
It isn’t really fair to compare anyone to Yu Darvish right now, but that does illustrate how great Lewis has been in the past and where he is today. So can Lewis get the job done still, absolutely. There have already been a few games that if Lewis would have been pulled a little sooner the Rangers would have probably won the game.
It seems to be easy to tell when Lewis is tired, out of gas or figured out by the other team. He might not make it to the 6th inning, but if he is able to give 5 good innings with only a couple of runs that might be enough.
If the Texas Rangers had other options for starters, a bullpen role might be the best. Lewis could be a great long reliever, but right now they can’t afford to move him out of the rotation. Also, Jon Daniels, Ron Washington and Lewis are not worried about his performance. He’s some how managed to do well enough for a .500 record and has kept them in several games.
But if he continues on his current path or declines much more they might need to consider other options.