One of the first questions the Rangers face this offseason is whether to pick up the club option on Colby Lewis' contract for 2012. They have until 11 p.m. today to do so and at $3.25 million, they are expected to pick up the option.
Lewis was 14-10 with a 4.40 ERA and had an up and down season at times as he battled a hip injury. But he was a stalwart in the postseason, just as he was in 2010. Lewis was 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA in four postseason starts. That included two World Series starts. Lewis pitched 23 2/3 innings and was the best starting pitcher for the Rangers in the playoffs.
The 32-year-old has pitched at least 200 innings two consecutive seasons. He has won 26 games the past two years with a combined ERA of 4.07. He's given the Rangers innings and is a pitcher that relies on fastball command and an ability to move his pitches around the zone.
Lewis rejuvenated his career by going over to Japan and pitching consistently with a 26-17 mark and a 2.82 ERA in 354 1/3 innings in 2008 and 2009. He had 369 strikeouts and just 46 walks in those 55 games (54 starts) for Nippon Professional Baseball's Hiroshima Carp.
In the postseason the past two years, Lewis is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 22 walks. He got a no-decision in both of his 2011 World Series starts as the Rangers pulled out a 2-1 win in Game 2, but lost in dramatic fashion in Game 6. Last year, Lewis won Games 2 and 6 of the ALCS and was on the mound for the club's only World Series win, a Game 3 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Lewis was a much better pitcher on the road than at home. He was 5-5 with a 5.54 ERA at home and 9-5 with a 3.43 ERA on the road.
"It was a strange year in a way," Lewis said after Game 7. "Every year is different. The splits were different than last year. I went out and pitched every five days, pitched 200 innings. I contributed. That's all I want to do is contribute, keep my team in the ballgame and let them do what they're supposed to do. I felt like I did that."
BTW, when I asked Lewis about his year, the first thing he said was that he had a little girl. Lewis and his wife, Jenny, welcomed Elizabeth Grace to the family in April.
"That was exciting and special," Lewis said.