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Joe Saunders to DL; Colby Lewis decision coming very soon

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Will Colby Lewis be joining the Rangers' rotation? We'll know soon.
Will Colby Lewis be joining the Rangers' rotation? We'll know soon. (USATSI)

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The Rangers have placed left-handed starter Joe Saunders on the 15-day disabled list due to a bruised left foot. He suffered the injury on a line drive off the bat of Evan Longoria. As a corresponding move, the Rangers recalled Daniel McCutchen to pitch out of the bullpen. They will eventually need a fifth starter, though, and it's possible that man is Colby Lewis.

Lewis, 34, is coming off elbow and hip surgeries. He allowed four runs (only two earned, though) on four hits in five innings in his one rehab start to this point. He walked three, hit a batter and struck out two. So he wasn't overly sharp and he may not be fully ready. Also of note here is that Lewis had an 8.00 ERA and 2.11 WHIP in nine spring training innings.

There's a snag, though. Lewis has the option to elect free agency if he's not on the Rangers' 25-man roster by Thursday. Considering their thin starting pitching to start the season due to health issues, they may just throw him in the rotation instead of risking him leaving.

Lewis was 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA (128 ERA+), 1.08 WHIP and 93 strikeouts against only 14 walks in 105 innings in 2012. He's been a quality pitcher since re-joining the Rangers in 2010 and has been great in postseason play.

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