ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Colby Lewis was never concerned about his surgically repaired right knee.
The veteran right-hander finalized a $6 million, one-year contract to stay with the Texas Rangers on Monday, a month after the sides agreed to terms. The deal had been pending a physical that Lewis passed.
Even after tearing meniscus in his knee in May, Lewis set career highs and led the Rangers with 17 wins and 204 2-3 innings last season. The 36-year-old pitcher has won 27 games over the past two seasons since a hip resurfacing procedure that was unprecedented for a major league pitcher.
Lewis said Monday the only thing affected by the knee injury was his conditioning, but it didn’t have much of an impact on the mound. He had surgery in October, two days after the Rangers lost Game 5 of the AL Division Series against Toronto.
“I didn’t think about it. In the heat of battle, I don’t let things get to me. I grind through it,” Lewis said. “I didn’t want to go on the shelf because the team needed me.”
Lewis is 71-67 with a 4.81 ERA over 10 major league seasons, eight with the Rangers. He expects to be ready for spring training and the start of the regular season.
“We know the man, what he is about and what he is going to do to get ready,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “It is easy to look at the physical stuff and have concerns but . obviously Colby is a huge competitor and has a huge heart. With Colby, time and time again, he has proven he’ll figure it out and be ready.”
Lewis was a first-round supplemental choice of the Rangers during the 1999 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2002. He had right shoulder surgery in early 2004 before sitting out all of 2005. He then pitched for Detroit and Oakland and spent two years in Japan before returning to Texas in 2010 and being part of the Rangers’ only two World Series appearances.
After going 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight postseason starts in 2010 and 2011, Lewis was hampered by injuries. He had surgery in July 2012 to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow.
His comeback from that was thwarted by a troublesome hip that had bothered him for some time before the resurfacing procedure in August 2013, which was just short of a full hip replacement.