ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 24: Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 24, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Weeks ago, we wrote on these pages that Colby Lewis, as we remembered him, was effectively done as a big-league starter.
He showed no ability to consistently retire big-league hitters and couldn't pitch into the sixth inning. He'd gone nearly two years without a quality start in the majors and had valiantly battled back from elbow surgery and become a hip resurfacing surgery pioneer, seemingly all to no avail.
But now, it looks like Lewis might have something left in his tank, after all.
The soon-to-be 35-year-old is riding a string of three solid starts, the last two of which were quality starts — snapping his long drought without the pitching metric of going at least six innings and allowing a maximum of three earned runs.
Three starts ago against a loaded Detroit lineup, it looked as if Lewis was still hanging on in the rotation for no other reason than the fact the Rangers had no other options. Now, he's looking like he could possibly figure into the 2015 plans as a No. 5 starter if the price is right.
The greatest postseason pitcher in Rangers history had a quality start in that game against the Tigers before he went back out in the seventh inning and allowed a fourth earned run, but against that lineup, it was a respectable start and a big step forward.
In his last two starts, he's notched quality starts against less impressive lineups, albeit, but quality starts nonetheless against the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets. In those two starts, he's allowed two earned runs in each and gone six innings each time. Most impressively, he continued a streak going back to that Detroit start in which he's fanned 21 batters and walked zero.
If the Rangers can see they can trust Lewis moving forward with a strong finish over the second half, that'll be some good silver lining in an otherwise lost season.