ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis will miss the rest of the season because of a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow.
Lewis was evaluated by team physician Dr. Keith Meister before Monday's game against the Boston Red Sox and elected to have surgery. Meister will perform the operation this week and Lewis is expected to be sidelined for nine to 12 months.
"It's a disappointment," he said. "Not only to me, but to my family, my teammates and the organization."
Texas manager Ron Washington called Lewis the team's "anchor."
"You always knew what you'd get when you put Colby Lewis out there, and it's usually pretty great," Washington said.
Lewis is 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts this season. The right-hander has been a key member of a steady rotation that's helped Texas win consecutive AL pennants the past two years. He is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight postseason starts.
The Rangers put Lewis on the disabled list Monday and recalled rookie left-hander Martin Perez.
Lewis was on the disabled list from June 24 to July 17 with right forearm tendinitis. He made one start after returning, allowing one run and three hits over five innings in Oakland last Wednesday.
Lewis said he felt good for three innings during that start but his arm tightened up in the fourth and fifth.
"I didn't want to push it. I didn't want everything to pop," Lewis said, adding that an MRI before he went on the DL in June revealed a small tear.
Lewis, who turns 33 next month, was Texas' opening-day starter this year. He won at least 12 games and reached 200 innings each of the past two seasons.
The Rangers had another pitching injury Monday when Roy Oswalt missed his scheduled start because of back stiffness. Scott Feldman came out of the bullpen to start.
Lewis was scheduled to pitch the second game of the series against Boston. Unless he's needed in relief Monday night, Perez will start in Lewis' place Tuesday.
Perez made his major league debut for the Rangers this month and was recalled five days after being sent to Triple-A Round Rock. He is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in four appearances for Texas, including two starts.
"I was told that I did what they expected of me. I didn't get mad because they sent me down," Perez said through a translator.
With Lewis out for the season and Oswalt ailing, the AL West leaders must quickly evaluate what moves they might want to make before the July 31 trade deadline. Fellow starters Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland have all spent time on the DL this season. Texas reliever Alexi Ogando, who has started in the past, recently came off the disabled list.
General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers have been "monitoring the market."
"We've had guys out there looking and had conversations with clubs," Daniels said.
Daniels said Feliz has at least two more scheduled starts for Triple-A Round Rock. Holland is slated to pitch Wednesday against Boston. Oswalt was examined by Dr. Mike McCann on Monday in Houston, where he received an injection in his lower back.
According to a Rangers spokesman, Oswalt is optimistic that he will return for his next scheduled outing Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. Ogando came back last Tuesday and has pitched three innings in four games out of the bullpen. Daniels said he could be a candidate to be moved into the starting rotation.
Lewis had Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm in high school and right shoulder surgery in 2004.
"(Losing Lewis) is a blow for us, but it's something we're going to recover from," Daniels said. "It's an opportunity for someone to step up. I feel bad for Colby, he's been a warrior. He's pitched a ton of innings and he's been such a leader by example."
Washington acknowledged that Perez pitched only two innings in his latest minor league appearance Friday night against Omaha because of the concern over Lewis' status.
"If he starts (Tuesday), there is no pitch limit. It would just depend on how effective he is," Washington said. "The guy has proved he can pitch here, so we didn't hesitate to bring him back. I told him he would be back when a situation presents itself, and it presented."