Colby Lewis is 32-years-old and really hasn’t had a career that you would look to and say “I hope I can do that.” He came up in 2002 with Texas, started 26 games in 2003 somehow winning 10 games with a 7.30 ERA, and then he started bouncing. He bounced to the Tigers, the Nationals, the A’s and the Royals before leaving the states for Japan for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. That is where it all begins.
Lewis pitched for the Central League’s Yomiuri Giants in 2008 and 2009, compiling a 26-17 record in 54 starts, with a 375/46 K/BB in 354 1/3 innings in Japan. His control was better than he ever showed in the Majors and he earned himself a 2-year, $5 million deal from the Rangers for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, after never earning more than $339,500 in a season prior to leaving for Yomiuri.
After two seasons with the Rangers, Lewis is a mid-rotation starter at best, going 26-23 with a 365/121 K/BB over 401 1/3 IP and a 4.06 ERA. However, Lewis has been much more than that in the playoffs for the Rangers. Two seasons in Arlington and twice the Rangers have been in the World Series. Lewis has been their best postseason pitcher during this time and if the Rangers continue their success, he could be considered one of the best postseason starters ever.
With a 4-1 record over 7 starts and a 2.22 ERA, Lewis has been very successful. While he has thrown just 44 2/3 innings, he has a 40/19 K/BB and a .161 BAA. While he has ways to go to reach Andy Pettitte’s 19 postseason wins and 263 innings pitched, he has a nice start and the Rangers have a great core to continue their playoff runs. Even if he doesn’t get there again, this one-time journeyman has shown that his gamble to get back to the Majors was worth the time overseas.