Colby Lewis was originally selected in the supplemental first round of the 1999 draft by the Texas Rangers out of Bakersfield Junior College. The Southern California native moved quickly through the Rangers system and was in the major leagues by 2002. He went 1-3 with a 6.29 ERA in 15 games (four starts) that season.
In 2003, Lewis spent most of the year in Texas, making 26 starts and going 10-9 with a 7.30 ERA. He threw a career-high 174.1 innings between Texas and Triple-A Oklahoma that season.
Those innings took a toll on Lewis, however, as he made only three starts for Texas in 2004 before having to undergo rotator cuff surgery. He missed all of the 2005 season.
In 2006, Lewis was signed off of waivers by the Detroit Tigers. He spent most of the year at Triple-A Toledo, where he went 6-7 with a 3.96 ERA in 24 starts. He made two relief appearances for the Tigers, allowing one run in three inning. Lewis was signed by the Washington Nationals this off-season and was cut during spring training.
Lewis is a hard thrower who has struggled with his command and with his secondary pitches at the big league level. As a major leaguer, he has averaged 5.51 walks per nine innings, while striking out 6.61 per nine innings. He has also allowed a lot of homeruns.
Lewis is expected to start the season in Triple-A Sacramento, where the A's will likely work with him to develop a better change-up that might off-set his good fastball.