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Lewis' season-long rehab comes up short

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The cavalry is not coming.

Colby Lewis, whom the Texas Rangers signed to a contract for this year even as he was rehabbing from forearm surgery, gave up on the 2013 season this week. He announced that he would undergo surgery to remove bone spurs and chips from his right hip. The operation will require six to eight weeks of recovery.

"I try not to make it an issue," Lewis said. "I've masked the pain as much as I can for as long as I can. But when it affects my mechanics and that affects my effectiveness to pitch at the big-league level, then it's something I've got to take care of. I've had an inconsistency in being able to repeat my delivery because of it."

The Rangers hoped Lewis would have been able to return by late May or early June. Early in the season, he made steady, regular process, but he suffered setbacks when he began a rehab assignment and was shut down. He went back out again in July and seemed to be nearing completion of the assignment. After continuing to struggle with his velocity and command in a start Saturday, the club and Lewis agreed he'd need at least one more start.

Two days later, after visiting with doctors, Lewis determined the long-standing hip issue needed to be resolved.

The decision means that Alexi Ogando, who has struggled all year, will remain in the rotation, at least for now. Matt Harrison, who is recovering from back surgery, is probably three rehab starts away from being ready to rejoin the rotation.

Consider this: The other four members of the rotation (Yu Darvish, Matt Garza, Derek Holland and Martin Perez) have a composite second-half ERA under 3.00. Ogando, who threw five innings of two-run ball Wednesday in a 10-3 win over the Angels, has a 4.34 second-half ERA. His velocity is still a bit down, and he set a career high with five walks in a recent start.

He has been the weak link.

"Of course, he needs to pick it up," manager Ron Washington said. "But he's not hurt, and as long as he's not hurt, I'm not concerned. We know he can get outs. We're not going to raise the red flag. We're going to keep giving him the ball."

Lewis will be a free agent in the offseason, but he has expressed interest in re-signing with the Rangers.
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