Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Houston Astros in the 1st inning on May 20, 2012 during interleague play at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
Colby Lewis was all set to finally make his return to a big-league mound after one last rehab start this week. But that all got thrown out the window on Tuesday with the announcement that Lewis would miss the remainder of the year to undergo hip surgery to remove bone spurs.
Good news, Lewis' arm is apparently fine after he had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow last summer that has resulted in him not pitching for the Texas Rangers since last July.
Bad news, Lewis' hip deal throws a kink in what had been set up as a pretty great roadmap for the Rangers' pitching rotation heading down the stretch and into a hopeful postseason run.
Alexi Ogando has struggled to get out of the sixth inning this season and has proven to be horribly inefficient as a starting pitcher in go-around No. 2 as a Rangers starter. It looks like Ogando is better suited to be a shutdown, versatile reliever in an already stacked Rangers' bullpen.
With Martin Perez pitching well and established as a starter for the time being, the logical move when Lewis returned would have been to slide him into Ogando's spot in the rotation and slide Ogando back into the bullpen, but now that move is put on hold until a possible return later this month of Matt Harrison, who made two starts before needing back surgery in April.
Until then, it appears the Rangers will have to ride with Ogando, beginning Wednesday in the series finale against the Angels.
What's this mean for the future of Lewis, arguably the greatest postseason pitcher in Rangers history best remembered for his run through the 2010 postseason, including a Game 6 masterpiece in the ALCS to send the Rangers to their first World Series.
Well, Lewis was set to be a free agent last off-season but the Rangers extended him a one-year deal for 2013 to help him rebuild some value. Now, he'll go 2013 without pitching in the bigs and will be looking to do the same in 2014. It could lead the Rangers to a super-cheap proven pitching commodity, and Lewis has expressed his interest in returning to the Rangers.
Now, the Rangers will just have to wait on a miraculous turnaround from Ogando or Harrison to return on schedule. The clock's ticking.