Lewis still has the itch to pitch in big leagues

Lewis still has the itch to pitch in big leagues

ARLINGTON -- Former Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis, who is a free agent and still not technically retired, said he could be ready to get Major League hitters out in 5-6 weeks.

"My wife wants me to be retired but I don't think you ever want to shut it down," Lewis said. "I feel I could still pick up a ball and do something."

The Rangers can always use pitching but don't figure on turning to Lewis. He is in town this weekend for the Do It For Durrett Foundation benefit and other community matters -- and nothing related to baseball.

The Rangers made a nominal effort to sign Lewis to a Minor League contract in the off-season, but he didn't accept it and that has been it.

"I didn't want to fight for a position," Lewis said. "Here I am, I have been here forever. I'll be 38 this season, you want to make me fight for a spot? It was a bitter pill to swallow and still is. I always wanted to wear this uniform, this is where I wanted to be."

Lewis was 6-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 19 starts for the Rangers last season, but also missed 2 1/2 months with a strained right lat muscle. He had been with the Rangers since 2010, but his age and history of injuries made the Rangers reluctant to offer a Major League deal.

That's what Lewis was looking for from somebody, especially the Rangers. When that didn't happen, he decided to stay home in Bakersfield, Calif.

"If there is no guaranteed deal, I'm going to stay at home," Lewis said. "Got to the point where I didn't have to go prove myself with an organization I had been with forever."

Chirinos' torrid HR pace

Rangers backup catcher Robinson Chirinos is a part-time player, but that hasn't kept him from putting up some impressive power numbers. Chirinos, who was not in the starting lineup on Saturday, has eight home runs in 84 at-bats.

That's a rate of one home run per 10.5 at-bats, which is the fourth best in the American League for players with a minimum of 75 at-bats. It's also the single highest in Rangers history for a minimum of 75 at-bats.

"It would be nice to keep that pace for more at-bats," Chirinos said. "I have been fortunate to put some good swings on in hitters' counts."

Rangers beat

Cole Hamels, on the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle, came out of Friday's rehab start with no issues. Hamels threw 35 pitches with an extra 22 in the bullpen when he was done. Hamels' next rehab start will either be Wednesday at Double-A Frisco or Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock.

• Infielder Hanser Alberto is scheduled to undergo surgery on his right shoulder on Monday to repair instability in the capsule. He has been sidelined since Opening Day with chronic shoulder soreness.

Alex Claudio threw two scoreless innings on Friday in to lower his season ERA as a reliever to 1.84, the ninth lowest in the American League. Claudio, who has made one start this season, has an overall ERA of 2.43.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.