Colby Lewis’ comeback from injury has arrived.
The 34-year-old right-hander will make his first start in 21 months Monday night against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
“It didn’t seem that long, but it has been, I guess,” Lewis said Sunday. “I’m excited for the opportunity to play this game. My wife wasn’t ready for me to be done.”
Lewis’ contract will be purchased from Triple A Round Rock on Monday morning. Another roster move will need to be made to make room for him.
Lewis was initially shut down because of elbow surgery in July 2012. His expected return a year later was aborted because of a hip resurfacing procedure, a form of hip replacement surgery.
Lewis, who was 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts in 2012, is the first pitcher to return from such a procedure.
His return is none too soon for the Rangers, whose rotation has been in need of a shot in the arm since injuries in spring training left it full of holes.
“He’s the grandfather of our pitching staff,” manager Ron Washington said of the franchise’s all-time leader in postseason victories. “He’s the leader. It’s nice to have him back. We know what he’s capable of doing.”
Washington said Lewis will not be on a pitch count.
Lefty Robbie Ross will follow Lewis and pitch Tuesday. Yu Darvish and Tanner Scheppers will close out the Seattle series.
Beltre to DL
As expected, the Rangers placed third baseman Adrian Beltre on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 9, with a quadriceps strain to make room on the roster for newly acquired right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi.
Beltre will be eligible for reinstatement April 24. He worked out Saturday with no problems and was ready to go again on Sunday, but the rain kept him off the field.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Washington said. “We’re only in the month of April. We’d like to have Adrian in May, June, July, August, September and then through October.”
A hot conversation in the manager’s office Sunday was baseball’s increasing use of the shift and how it’s changed the game.
Houston manager Bo Porter employed the strategy over and over during the weekend. In one situation Friday, second baseman Jose Altuve was positioned on the shortstop side of second base while first baseman Chris Carter was holding a runner on, leaving a sizable hole on the right side with the winning run in scoring position.
There’s a baseball maxim to counteract that strategy, Washington said: Hit it where they ain’t.
“How many guys do you see check the defense to see where they’re playing?” Washington said. “It’s the players. If you’d done that stuff in the past, you’d have gotten beat every time.”
Porter countered in his clubhouse, saying going the opposite way still requires the hitter do something he doesn’t want to do, much like a defender in basketball making a right-hander go left.
Briefly• Outfielder Engel Beltre, who recently had a rod put in his broken right leg, said he is at least six weeks from resuming baseball activities.
• Washington, on Seattle, which now employs Robinson Cano, arriving for a four-game series: “They’ve always been a thorn in our side. I don’t see why it should be any different.”
• Matt Harrison’s scheduled rehabilitation start with Frisco in Little Rock was rained out Sunday. Harrison will start one of two games in a scheduled doubleheader Monday.