Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the 6th inning against the Houston Astros on May 20, 2012 during interleague play at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Rangers won 6 to 1.
The Texas Rangers are thin right now in the pitching department, both in the starting rotation and in the bullpen. And while the Rangers have reportedly been shopping for help, especially in the bullpen, there are several in-house candidates to add depth in the coming weeks when people start getting healthy.
The most notable of the injured Rangers pitchers include Colby Lewis, Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria, but there are others too. Several Rangers pitchers have been working well in their rehab, and just about all of them are ahead of schedule in their respective rehab processes.
The most high-profile of these names is Lewis, who was shelved last July and had to undergo surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow, expecting to be ready to go by June or July of this season. But now he's on schedule to return by early May and after being checked out by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. Both Lewis and free agent signee reliever Joakim Soria (Tommy John) are slated to begin throwing live batting practice by April 8, according to ESPNDallas.com.
Martin Perez, who was in line to be the club's fifth starter this season after a few stellar outings early in spring training, was taken out of that race when he fractured the ulna bone in his left arm after taking a line drive off the arm. His timetable for return was set at late May or early June and he's now been cleared to begin throwing, and likely will next week.
Feliz, who underwent Tommy John surgery around the same time Lewis had his surgery, is still up in the air regarding his possible return. Basically, if Feliz pitches and makes an impact this season, it will be an added bonus but there hasn't been a definitive timetable set for his return other than sometime late in the summer.