In a season-ending countdown, we'll weigh in on some of the pleasant surprises for the Rangers in what was arguably the most disappointing season in franchise history.
No. 4: Colby Lewis, RHP
2014 stats: 10-14, 5.18 ERA, 133 strikeouts, 48 walks, 170 1/3 innings
A quick look at Lewis' stats aren't too impressive. A deeper look shows his sub-4.00 ERA after the all-star break and a seemingly reborn pitcher after he finally recovered from his hip resurfacing surgery last year — a previously unprecedented procedure for a pitcher. Lewis' degenerate hip condition was finally better, and for the first time in his career, he claimed, he was throwing without pain.
With the newly pain-free delivery came a new motion altogether, as he no longer had to compensate. That means it took a bit for him to get used to his new body. But once he did, he was very much resembling the pitcher the Rangers had in 2010 and 2011, when in many ways he was the rock of the staff and is without question still the best postseason pitcher in club history.
It was hard to expect much from Lewis in 2014, and after his awful start that culminated when he allowed 13 runs in less than three innings early in the season, it seemed he was on his last leg and possibly out the door. But the Rangers stuck with him, mostly because they had no other option, and he worked out his kinks and ended up being a successful pitcher again.
It's still unknown if Lewis will be back in 2015 but all signs point to him signing another deal with Texas this winter.