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I know this seems low for the opening day starter, and this is in no way an indictment of his ability to pitch at the big league level.
However, when you look at Lewis’s stuff, he doesn’t dominate opposing batters. His fastball touches 90 mph most of the time, and his slider hovers at the mid 80s.
But what Lewis lacks in speed, he more than makes up for in command.
He commands his slider better than just about anyone else in the league. He can throw the pitch in any count to get an out or get a ball in play.
The downside to Lewis is that having a slower fastball, when he does not locate that pitch, leaves him subject to getting burned deep. Lewis gave up 35 homers in 2011, second most in the majors behind Bronson Arroyo.
Lewis is a good pitcher, but his understanding of how to pitch, not his stuff, has given him his success.