Rangers Re-Sign Colby Lewis

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis, right, hands the ball to manager Jeff Banister in the third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, in Cleveland. Banister pitched 2 2/3 innings and gave up 11 hits and 10 runs. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

On Friday, the Rangers announced that they had reached a one-year $6 million deal with free agent RHP Colby Lewis. Lewis will return to the Rangers for his ninth year with the club and sixth consecutive year. Colbra started his career with Texas in 2002.

Lewis set a career highs in 2015 in innings pitched (204.2) and wins (17) while posting the third lowest FIP of his career at 4.17 all while being at the ripe young age of 35 (he turned 36 in early August). Here is my disclaimer, do not ever judge a pitcher by his win total. I simply stated that stat because he set a career high. Don’t be like Harold Reynolds and feel like wins are a legit measuring stick to success.

Colby doesn’t miss as many bats as he once did with a K rate of just 6.2/9 but he isn’t walking as many as he once did either. As a matter of fact, Lewis’ 1.8 BB/9 is the lowest of his career if you don’t count the injury shortened 2012 season. One thing Colby does though, is pitch to contact as evident by his 9.3 H/9 and his 1.236 WHIP.

The interesting thing about this deal is what it means for the Rangers. Does this signify that they are out on any other free agent starting pitchers? You’d go into the season with Cole Hamels, Derek Holland, Lewis, Martin Perez, and one of Nick Martinez, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Anthony Ranaudo, or perhaps a sleeper in the name of Phil Klein.

Assuming the Rangers do not add another starting pitcher during the winter, it would appear that Yu Darvish would replace whoever that fifth starter is. However, if the Rangers do add a starting pitcher this winter, things could get really interesting as Jared Sandler points out, Colby Lewis could be the odd man out once Darvish returns.

One thing to keep in mind about Lewis, is that he is not the Colbra of 2010 or 2011. He is an innings eater who will post 5th starter type numbers. You will get stretches of him where he is pitching like a three or a four and you will get stretches of him where he’s pitching like a AAA pitcher. Overall, he should slot nicely into that fourth of fifth spot.

I don’t know about you, but I am perfectly content with that rotation. Could it use another proven arm? Sure it could but with the budget constraints and bang for the buck, I’m alright with Hamels leading the way, a healthy Perez and Holland, Lewis slotting the back end, and one of the young guys riding caboose. And then Darvish riding in like Paul Revere to revitalize the season.

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Billy Casey
Billy is a baseball fanatic and has been around the game since he was four years old. The first ever game he attended was in September of '89 and Pete Incaviglia denied him an autograph after he had a bad batting practice session. Billy has held a grudge since. Billy is also a baseball coach who is known to dance around the dugout like Ron Washington during big plays in the game.

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