The Texas Rangers haven’t made any additions to their starting pitching staff yet this offseason, and things could stay that way.
“There have not been many starters out there this winter that we have really pushed on,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Obviously the (Zack) Greinke thing was well documented we were interested there and he had another opportunity and went out West. We feel real good about our first four and we have some internal competition for the fifth spot.”
That internal competition may be short term because of the progress right-hander Colby Lewis has made in his return from flexor tendon surgery.
The original plan was for Lewis to be ready in June but he’s already started a throwing program and there’s a chance he could return to the mound earlier than that. If that’s the case, the Rangers wouldn’t need to invest in a starter from outside and could try and get by with Martin Perez or Justin Grimm holding down the spot.
But Daniels doesn’t want to rush Lewis.
“It’s still a little premature to say he’s officially ahead of schedule,” Daniels said. “May is a possibility but we want to get him back once and get him back for good when he comes back. Overall it’s definitely positive news but as we all know it’s better to be cautious and make sure there are no setbacks.”
Just because Lewis is progressing well doesn’t mean the Rangers aren’t ruling out adding another starter, but it could be someone who comes in and wins a spot in spring training.
In addition to the progress Lewis has made, Texas is also pleased with where Neftali Feliz is in his rehab. He had Tommy John surgery in July and is still on target for a post All-Star break return to the club.
“Nefty is doing well,” Daniels said. “He’s coming into Arlington in a couple of weeks to get checked up by (team doctor Keith) Meister and then will report out in Arizona to continue his rehab. Everything’s on schedule at this point.”