Rangers’ Lewis has work to do after rehab start

FRISCO, Texas — At least Colby Lewis felt fine physically after making his rehab start for Frisco Monday.

As for how Lewis felt he pitched — well, that wasn’t so good.

“I definitely need more reps,” Lewis said. “I definitely need to go out there and get my arm strength up. Eighty five or 86 isn’t going to cut it, not for me anyways. I definitely need to go out there and get more reps. Hopefully in the next couple of starts I can generate some more arm strength and get my velocity back where it needs to be.”

Lewis allowed two runs on four hits and pitched 2 1/3 innings for the Double-A Roughriders.
Throwing mainly fastballs that normally were around 85 mph, Lewis tallied 47 pitches (33 for strikes). He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. He was slated to throw three innings or around 45 pitches. He was visited by the trainer in the third inning, but said that was just to check on Lewis’ body.

Lewis, who is returning from right flexor tendon surgery, made his first rehab start May 9 but was slowed after that by some triceps tendinitis.

Lewis will make his next start for either Frisco or Round Rock. As for when he makes his Texas debut, he’s not sure. Last week, Lewis thought he would need about three more rehab starts before being ready to pitch for the Rangers.

That would put him back in the rotation in early June. He didn’t sound convinced that would be the case Monday. He said he doesn’t feel like he can get big-league hitters out right now.

“I feel like I’m on a roller coaster,” he said. “Some days my body feels really good and some days it doesn’t. Maybe that’s just age in this game. Whatever. Grind through it. I’m not even worried about weeks.”

Lewis retired the first six batters he faced, but then needed 24 pitches to retire just one batter in the third. He allowed a leadoff homer and also was tagged for a double and two singles.

Even though the Rangers have starting pitching concerns, Lewis isn’t going to push things.

“I don’t really look at it as they need me,” Lewis said. “I kind of look at it like I want to get back and contribute. I don’t feel like any pressure’s on me. All I’m trying to do is go out, get reps and get strong. When I get activated, I get activated.”

The rehab news was better for A.J. Pierzynski. He went 1 for 3 with an infield single and is expected to be activated tomorrow. Pierzynski had been sidelined with a strained oblique. He said he felt good Monday, which was one of the concerns after he caught the entire game Sunday.