ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 27: Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the first inning during Game Six of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by John G. Mabanglo-Pool/Getty Images)
With two rookie pitchers in the starting rotation and a converted reliever taking a third spot, the Texas Rangers could use all the starting pitching depth they can get this season. So far, so good, but you never know when things could turn sour with any of those three or, worse yet, Derek Holland or Yu Darvish could join Matt Harrison on the disabled list.
The Rangers have reserves on the way, as Colby Lewis is a proven guy with a solid track record and has a spot waiting for him in the rotation when he's ready, Rangers manager Ron Washington has said, but "when he's ready" just got a little longer away.
Lewis made his first rehab start last week for Triple-A Round Rock after undergoing surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his pitching elbow last July and experienced soreness in his triceps following the start.
The Rangers say the soreness was unrelated to the previous injury, but he's been shut down for a week, which will likely push his return to the Rangers back to early June instead of late May.
"We still got that period before we have to do anything with him, that time," Washington told reporters. "So be careful and make certain. That's all. Spring training stuff. But we still got this big window that he has to work in."
Justin Grimm and Nick Tepesch have given the Rangers the luxury of time to work Lewis back slowly and make sure he's ready to roll, and for that they should be commended.