If Derek Jeter stays healthy, he’ll be the primary candidate for Comeback Player of the Year award. Colby Lewis, as he so often does, will probably go under the radar of baseball’s national media.
The big right-hander from Bakersfield, California, probably doesn’t care for the accolade, but technically, he’s making history with each start he makes this year. Lewis had his season cut short in 2012 because of flexor tendon surgery and then, around the one-year mark of that injury, he was told he would have to miss the rest of 2013 because his hip couldn’t function anymore. The 34-year old underwent a hip resurfacing procedure with no guarantees that he could pitch again; after all, no other person in Major League Baseball history had ever had the procedure done.
Forgive him, then, if he seems a little uncharacteristically emotional about his first win in a year and three-quarters. Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News had some quotes from Lewis after his 6-3 win over the White Sox.
"It’s pretty sentimental. It’s a victory I’m excited about. I’m definitely excited to get that first victory out of the way. My body feels great. As long as I continue to get that feeling, it’s going to be a good year…My pitches were a lot more productive. It’s definitely an improvement, and that’s what I want…I was more myself."
In his last two starts, Lewis has pitched 5.1 innings each game. In his first start against the Mariners, he pitched better than the line would indicate, as Texas’ bullpen allowed a couple of inherited runners to score. On Saturday against the White Sox, Colby seemed to gain confidence with each pitch. He featured his usual high-80s, low-90s fastball along with a devastatingly good slider. He exited the sixth inning with 44,000 plus giving him a standing ovation. As he said, if his body can hold up, Lewis is going to be a huge shot in the arm for an injury-hampered Rangers rotation.