ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Texas Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis is on track to start a rehabilitation assignment next week.
Lewis, who had surgery last July to repair a torn flexor tendon, threw 27 pitches in two innings Saturday in an extended spring training game in Arizona.
The Rangers said Lewis came out of the outing feeling good. With no setbacks, his next step is likely a start Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock at Las Vegas.
Right-hander Martin Perez was the leading candidate for the No. 5 spot in the Rangers rotation before getting hit by a batted ball and breaking a bone in his forearm during a spring training game. The Rangers said Perez will begin a rehab assignment Monday for Double-A Frisco.
Lewis was 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts last season before the torn tendon in his right elbow was diagnosed.
When he had surgery July 27, Lewis was also in the last year of his contract and facing the prospect of going into free agency while recovering. But Texas unexpectedly gave him a $2 million, one-year contract in September, two months after surgery. He can earn up to $4 million more in incentives when he gets back on the mound.
When the Rangers won their only two AL pennants in 2010 and 2011, Lewis was their best postseason pitcher. He was 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight postseason starts, 1-0 with a 2.29 ERA in three World Series games.