The cycle is complete.
- Rating: 2.93
- Age: 28
- 2020 Stats: 2G, 3.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.09 FIP, 4.56 xFIP, 2.40 WHIP, 0 bWAR
- 2020 Salary: $563,500
- 2021 Status: released and signed 1 year $750,000 guaranteed contract with SK Wyverns of the KBO (South Korea) + $150,000 in incentives
The name Lewicki is a Polish-language name and could refer to “lion” or “left-handed”. It emerged in medieval times as one of the notable families of Prussia. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution. However, like Prussia those Lewicki’s saw their influence decline. Maybe therefore a couple of them went to the United States of America at a certain moment.
They who came worked as laborers and seamstress. Those that survived the harsh 60s (a Lewicki had an average life expectancy of 40 years back then), got happy and had right-handed kids. One of them started throwing balls instead of using his hands for labor or seaming and was good at it. He got picked in the 8th round of the 2014 draft by the Detroit Tigers.
His name is Artie Lewicki.
You might have forgotten, but Artie Lewicki is in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization since October 2018, when he got claimed from the Detroit Tigers. He was exposed to waivers because of undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2018. The D-Backs themselves successfully put Lewicki through waivers a month later and outrighted him to AAA, where he obviously would not pitch in 2019.
What was exactly the reason to claim Lewicki in 2018 is uncertain, but the New Jersey native showed some promise in the Detroit minor league system and tossed 49 innings for the Tigers at MLB level in 2017 and 2018 before going down.
In 2020 he was added by the D-Backs to the 60 man player pool and his contract was selected on September 2. Lewicki would appear the following night in a game against the Dodgers, where he would throw 14 pitches and give up a run on 3 hits. Two days later he would pitch 2.1 innings and throw 43 pitches, giving up yet another run on 4 hits.
In his first year after returning from TJ surgery, Lewicki’s velocity was a tick up. His fastball however was very hittable, everywhere in the zone, not the least because of it getting too much of the plate:
As such, his fastball was poorly rated and it led to Lewicki relying much more on his slider (52.8% of his pitches). That pitch was of more value and brought him some success via fly balls.
However, a pitcher cannot rely on just one pitch. His command in general was quite questionable as well, so he was optioned back to the alternate training site on September 6.
It was understandable the organization decided not to employ Lewicki anymore afterwards.
The value in Artie Lewicki for 2020 was his remaining option and therefore the possibility of moving him up and down during the season. Once the season was over and being unimpressed with his performance and projection, the front office decided to release Lewicki.
Lewicki would have been up for a minor league contract and probably a spring training invite somewhere in the MLB, but KBO’s SK Wyverns were prepared to offer him a guaranteed contract.
So just like his forefathers, this Lewicki will go oversees for a better future as well. The cycle is complete.