Each week through Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and break down the players in camp for the Indians at Goodyear, Arizona and examine their potential roles for the season to come. This week, we continue our Goodyear coverage by breaking down the players who are most in need of a bounce back season if the Tribe is to make the playoffs.
By Sean Tuttle
Derek Lowe is coming off of quite arguably his worst season as a big leaguer. After finishing 9-17 with the Atlanta Braves last season, the 38 year old World Series Champion, is looking for a comeback season and anchor down the tribes pitching rotation.
Lowe was drafted in the 8th round of the 1991 amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners. He was then part of a deadline trade that sent he and Jason Varitek to the Boston Red Sox in 1997. While in Boston, Lowe would be instrumental in bringing a World Series title back to Boston. In 2004, Lowe started the rally in Game 4 ALDS pitching 5.1 innings and a no decision, and returned to start Game 7 with a win. He was 3-0 in the 2004 postseason with only one no decision.
In 2005, Lowe signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent, and again in 2009 with the Atlanta Braves. Lowe was acquired by the Indians on October 31, 2011 with cash for minor leaguer Chris Jones.
Lowe has a lifetime record of 166-146 in 356 starts with an ERA of 3.94. He has a postseason record of 5-7, starting 12 games and appearing in 11 more in 12 series. He has a Postseason ERA of 3.21.
With the uncertain future of, Roberto Hernandez, Lowe will most likely be the fourth man in the rotation. This most likely means that Lowe will be going head to head with less talented pitchers, which will greatly benefit the Tribe.
Lowe has been showing great signs in spring training to great pleasure of manager Manny Acta. “I really like the way Lowe threw the ball again — lots of ground balls. He got through four innings with less than 50 pitches.” Acta told MLB.com reporter Chris Haft after Wednesdays game against the San Francisco Giants. Lowe spoke to Haft about his performance stating, “ I think all the runs I’ve given up this spring are on the obvious walks, It never does anybody any good, but I’ll take it. There was a lot better command.”
This spring Lowe is 0-1 in 2 starts with a 4.00 ERA in 3 appearances. He has allowed seven hits, walked four and struck-out one.
Fans should look to Lowe to bring leadership to a young rotation, stability at the anchor of the five man rotation, and at least 10-15 wins as long as the veteran’s body can stay healthy. Should the tribe make it to the postseason. Lowe can be a huge factor in any series.
Although Lowe comes with a $15 million contract, the Indians are only responsible for $5 million. He will be a free agent at the end of the season. As it looks right now, a good trade made by Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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