It's been a long road back for Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis after undergoing surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow last summer.
Lewis began a rehab assignment a couple of weeks ago before having to halt it for a week due to some unrelated arm soreness. On Monday morning, he re-started his rehab campaign at Double-A Frisco, throwing 47 pitches. He wasn't too pleased with the results, but made it sound as if it's just part of the process of getting back after nearly a year off.
"I'm trying to get to where I can get big league hitters out," Lewis told ESPN Dallas. "In my mind, I don't think I can do that yet."
Lewis was sitting in the mid 80s with his fastball and topped out at 87 mph — not nearly fast enough to succeed in the big leagues, unless your name is Greg Maddux.
"I definitely need more reps," Lewis said. "I definitely need to get my arm strengthen up. Throwing 85 or 86 isn't going to cut it."
Lewis' return is anticipated seeing as how the Rangers now have three rookies in the rotation with Justin Grimm, Nick Tepesch and whoever is making starts for Alexi Ogando, who's on the DL — Josh Lindblom on Monday.
But the Rangers can't rush their veteran starter either because the last thing they need is for a major setback to derail for him for the entire season, and even if he does come back, it's impossible to know what the Rangers will get from him.
He's set to make at least two more minor-league starts before being ready for his return to Arlington, but it'll likely take a couple of more and it could be as long as a month before he's ready to roll at the big-league level.