The week of April 4 is the set of dates on the mind of Rangers veteran starter Colby Lewis, and it's the same case for the Rangers when it comes to their aging bulldog righty.
Lewis had a knee procedure after the Rangers were eliminated in the ALDS back in October and he has yet to even begin throwing with pitchers and catchers set to report to Surprise a week from today. Given that tidbit, it's hard to imagine Lewis being on schedule with the rest of the Rangers' pitchers when spring training begins.
And he won't be, and that's most likely OK.
It won't be the first time Lewis has been on a delayed program before ramping up as the season grows near.
Last year, Lewis led the Rangers with 17 wins and also led the team with 204 2/3 innings, a career-high in his 10th MLB season. He faded late in the season and finished the year with a 4.66 ERA, suffering from what later found out after the season was an ailing knee he had surgically repaired.
While it's going to be hard to keep getting these same results year after year, Lewis is proven enough as a workhorse and reliable veteran that the Rangers can probably safely expect him to give them at least somewhere in the 180-inning neighborhood.