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Colby Lewis

Colby Lewis
Lewis with the Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers – No. 48
Starting pitcher
Born: (1979-08-02) August 2, 1979 (age 36)
Bakersfield, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 1, 2002 for the Texas Rangers
Career statistics
(through May 18, 2015)
Win–loss record 57–60
Earned run average 4.75
Strikeouts 787
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Colby Preston Lewis (born August 2, 1979), popularly nicknamed "Cobra", is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also played in MLB for the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics and in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Lewis was originally a first-round draft choice (sandwich pick) of the Texas Rangers in the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft, and made his major league debut in 2002. He played for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Japan's Central League from 2008 to 2009, during which he won two awards for most strikeouts. Upon his return to the Rangers, he helped lead the team to two consecutive American League pennants in 2010 and 2011.

Amateur career

Lewis is a graduate of North High School in Bakersfield, California. Lewis attended Bakersfield College, where, as a sophomore, he won first team Western State Conference honors, going 4–5 striking out 108 and posting a 2.86 ERA.

Professional career

Texas Rangers

Lewis was the 38th overall player selected in the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft. He was a highly regarded prospect coming up in the Rangers' system and in three seasons with them had a career ERA of 6.83. Of particular note was his unusual 2003 season, where he managed to post a winning record of 10–9 in 26 starts despite a 7.30 ERA.

Detroit Tigers

Lewis suffered an injury early in the 2004 season and missed most of the year after undergoing rotator cuff surgery. He was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Tigers after the 2004 season. Lewis made only 2 appearances in 2006 with an ERA of exactly 3.00. Lewis would also be eligible to participate in the postseason despite his short tenured 2006 season. The Tigers ventured in the postseason but lost in the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Washington Nationals

In 2007, Lewis signed a minor league deal for the Washington Nationals. On March 20, 2007, the Nationals released him.

Oakland Athletics

About 4 days after his release from the Nationals, Lewis signed a minor league deal for the Oakland Athletics.

Lewis began 2007 on the A's Triple-A team, the Sacramento River Cats, where he posted an 8–3 record with a 1.88 ERA. The A's, in need of another starting pitcher to replace the injured Rich Harden, called up Lewis on May 22, 2007. He started the game that day against the Chicago White Sox. His A's debut was a disaster as he pitched 3.1 innings and gave up 10 runs on 12 hits in the A's 10–4 loss. He was immediately sent to the bullpen after that start. Lewis finished the 2007 season with an 0–2 record and a 6.45 ERA in 26 games. Following the 2007 season, on November 2, 2007, Lewis was claimed off waivers by Kansas City Royals; he was then released on December 5, 2007.

Hiroshima Toyo Carp

Lewis with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp

For the 2008 season, Lewis signed with the Hiroshima Carp of Japan's Central League. He had a spectacular season with Hiroshima, finishing second in the Central League in wins with 15 (Seth Greisinger of the Yomiuri Giants led the CL with 17 wins), second in the league in ERA (2.68, Masanori Ishikawa of the Yakult Swallows was first at 2.68), and 1st in the league in strikeouts (189),[1] beating out Greisinger by almost 20 K's.

His 2009 season with the Carp was equally successful. Lewis finished with 186 strikeouts, again leading the league. Although his performance was outstanding, he resigned from the team in hopes of pitching once again in the Major Leagues.

He is also renowned for home runs, which is unusual for a pitcher. (The designated hitter rule is not used in the Central League except in interleague games.) He has 5 NPB career home runs (2 in 2008 and 3 in 2009).

Second stint with the Texas Rangers


On January 14, 2010, Lewis agreed to a two-year contract with the Texas Rangers. At the end of April, he led the American League in strikeouts and was tied for second in the majors with Dan Haren behind Tim Lincecum. He got his first-ever complete game in Major League Baseball against the Houston Astros on June 19.

On October 16, Lewis started Game 2 of the American League Championship Series at home against the New York Yankees. Lewis went 5.2 innings and gave up 2 earned runs on 6 hits. However, he earned the decision, and became the first Ranger pitcher to win a post-season home game in franchise history. On October 22, Lewis started game 6 of the American League Championship Series, also at home, against the New York Yankees. He pitched 8 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, aiding the Rangers to a decisive 6–1 victory. The win allowed the Rangers to win the Series and earn their first-ever American League Pennant. On October 30, Lewis started game 3 of the 2010 World Series, at home against the San Francisco Giants. Lewis went 723 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits. The Rangers went on to lose the series 4-1, with Lewis earning the win in the first Texas victory in a World Series game. After winning those two crucial home playoff games in the 2010 ALCS and Game 3 of the 2010 World Series, Lewis was, so far, the only Rangers pitcher accredited towards three of the Rangers home playoff wins. No other Rangers pitcher had even one.


In April 2011 Lewis was the first MLB player to go on the league's newly created paternity leave list to attend the birth of his child. A player can be on the list for 24 to 72 hours. Lewis took one start off before returning to pitch against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.[2]

In 2011, Lewis was 14–10 with a 4.40 ERA.[3] He gave up a league-leading 35 home runs, the 7th-most in Rangers history.[3][4] In the 2011 postseason he pitched Game 3 of the ALDS and ALCS and Games 2 and 6 of the World Series.


In the 2012 season, Lewis went 6-6 with an ERA of 3.43 until being placed on the disabled list due to a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow.


Lewis began the 2013 season on the 60-day disabled list as he was still recovering from the elbow surgery he previously had. He was expected to return after the All-Star break, but was subsequently announced to be out for the rest of the season due to bone spurs in his right hip. His elbow has recovered post surgery and rehab with a AA Frisco Rough Riders rehab assignment.[5] On August 22, Lewis underwent hip resurfacing surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.[6] Lewis followed that with a rigorous rehab program, and he was re-signed by the Rangers to a minor-league deal in November.[7]


Lewis pitched for the Rangers in 2014 spring training, include a shutout start versus the Seattle Mariners. After spring training, Lewis was assigned to the AAA Round Rock Express. April 14, 2014, marked Lewis' return to MLB, starting a game against the Seattle Mariners.

Pitching Repertoire

Lewis throws two fastballs: a four-seamer at 90 miles per hour and a sinker at 89 miles per hour. His changeup and slider both average 84 mph, while his curveball sits in the high 70s.[8]

Personal life

Lewis is married to Jenny.[9]


  1. Kurkjian, Tim (2010). Lewis makes unfamiliar trip back. ESPN the Magazine. Retrieved on October 23, 2010.
  2. "Rangers coach has no issues with Colby Lewis going on paternity leave". April 20, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Colby Lewis Statistics and History". Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  4. "Texas Rangers Top 10 Pitching Leaders". Retrieved October 21, 2011. 
  5. House, Stewart. "Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis (hip surgery) to miss rest of season". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  6. Tesfatsion, Master. "Lewis to undergo hip surgery". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  7. Stewart, T.R. "Lewis inks Minors contract, invited to camp". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  8. "Player Card: Colby Lewis". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  9. Sullivan, T.R. (February 12, 2015). "Lewis' marriage proposal took unplanned detour in 2002". Retrieved February 15, 2015. 

External links