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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Colby Lewis was asked this morning to throw out the first pitch for Monday night’s Wild Card tiebreaker in Arlington.
The right-hander, who hasn’t thrown a baseball in more than seven weeks, didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation from team CEO & President Nolan Ryan.
“To me, it shows what type of organization this is,” said Lewis on Monday. “For them to give me that opportunity to go out and know that I’m not just taking up a locker space, and they’re still thinking about me – it means a lot.”
Lewis hasn’t pitched for Texas since late July of 2012, when the veteran underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. Lewis suffered a setback in his rehab this August, developing a hip condition that required season-ending surgery.
Even still, manager Ron Washington says Lewis’ presence and character has been invaluable to the club – particularly as the team fights to save its season.
“It means a lot because we weren’t sure Colby was going to be able to be walking,” said Washington. “He came around here with his cane; that lasted a day because those guys got on him. He walked with a bat for a couple days; then he threw that away. If anyone can show grit and fight and heart and desire and passion, that’s Colby Lewis. He’s been here with us, cheering us on.”
Lewis says the limp is gone as he continues to grow stronger every day, but the right-hander might be making his final appearance in Arlington on Monday night.
Though Lewis’ one-year deal expires at the end of the season, Jon Daniels and the Rangers have expressed interest in bringing back the club’s all-time leader in postseason wins.
It’s nights like Monday that have Lewis hoping for a similar fate.
“[Tonight] means a lot. Being here for four years now, hopefully we can try to get something worked out and come back here for a fifth.”
All Arms On Deck – Except Darvish
When speaking before Monday night’s game, Ron Washington said everyone is available in the Rangers bullpen – except Yu Darvish.
Darvish pitched on Sunday against Los Angeles and is unavailable.
The most unlikely candidate to enter the game is Rangers starter Matt Garza, who has been named a potential Wild Card game starter on Wednesday in Cleveland. But Washington isn’t ruling anything — or anyone — out.
“Right now, we got to think about Monday. Right now everybody is available. Of course we’ve got [Garza] penciled in for Wednesday, but if I need him today, we’ll do what we have to do to win the game today and worry about Wednesday when it gets here.”
Texas closer Joe Nathan has appeared in the team’s last four games and five of the last six. Reliever Tanner Scheppers has endured a similar workload, though the right-hander has need just 36 pitches to navigate his way through four innings over the past four days.
According to Wash, they’re both available.
Success Against Price
David Price has three times been named an All-Star and won the AL Cy Young in 2012.
But the hard throwing left-hander has struggled in his career against Texas – in a big way.
In 11 career starts against Texas — including the postseason — Price is 1-7 with a 6.62 ERA.
In his last start in Arlington during his 2012 Cy Young campaign, Price surrendered six earned runs on 10 hits in just four innings of work.
“Believe me. We’re certainly not that confident that we’re going to go out there and destroy Price because of what we’ve done in the past,” said Washington. “Today is September the 30th in 2013; it’s a different time and a different day.”
Rangers Elvis Andrus (11-for-27), Alex Rios (10-for-23, 2 HR) and Nelson Cruz (9-for-21, 3 HR) have enjoyed particular success against Price.
But Washington says his players are fully aware of David Price’s talent and how dominant he can be. If the dominant David Price does show up, they’ll be ready.
“We just got to show up,” said Washington. “If a different David Price shows up, we just got to fight him…We’re ready to fight.”
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