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Unconventional delivery works well for Lewis

MESA, Ariz. -- Jensen Lewis is among the pitchers scheduled to throw in the Cubs' intrasquad game Friday at HoHoKam Stadium, and fans who may not be familiar with the right-hander should be able to recognize him quickly. He's the one with the high socks and the herky-jerky delivery.

It's a style Lewis has used since he first started pitching. He even throws a football the same way.

"The most improtant thing is it creates a lot of deception and it's hard for hitters to pick up," said Lewis, a non-roster invitee in camp. "That's important to keep guys off balance. It's something I've always had through college and through the Minor Leagues and stuff. I've been fortunate that most of my pitching coaches have said, 'Hey, if it works for you, just keep it going.'

"I think the thing that's come back to me is in talking to hitters, trying to figure out ways to get better, is it's hard to pick it up and that's fine with me," he said. "It's worked so far."

Lewis, 28, came up through the Indians system, and compiled a 7-11 record and 3.68 ERA in 161 games from 2007-10. He has not pitched in the big leagues since '10, and last year, pitched for the D-backs' Triple-A Reno team, where he was 7-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 52 games.

"God willing, I've stayed healthy," Lewis said. "It's something where everybody has their own unique delivery and this is something I've embraced and I haven't known anything any different. When you've done it that way your entire life, you're just used to it."

His style worked early, and he simply hasn't changed.

"You've got guys who throw side arm, guys who throw over the top," Lewis said. "It's just that unique thing. Everyone's different and it's something that's given me a lot of success."

He does not swing a golf club the same, though.

"No," Lewis said, laughing. "If I did that, I'd be looking for a lot of balls."