Oh, no, D-Lowe: Now it’s blistered toe

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Three pitches into his second spring start, Braves pitcher Derek Lowe sprung a leak.

In a large blister.

On the inside of his right big toe.

This is not good.

“I felt it pop,” Lowe said. And after that, “Instead of worrying about pitching I was worried about how not to drag my back toe.”

Now, the Braves and their announced opening-day starter are worried about whether he’ll be ready to make his next scheduled turn, and about how far he might fall behind if he can’t.

(And we wonder sometimes why Cox usually waits until late in spring training to announce his opening-day starter.)

The blistered toe was painful, and the distraction painfully obvious: After striking out the first batter, Lowe gave up five hits to the next six Mets, including a two-run homer by Chris Carter.

He lasted one inning and allowed five hits and three runs. Lowe then removed his cleat and sock to check the damage after the inning, and pitching coach Roger McDowell took one look at the larger-than-a-quarter blister and said, no mas.

“There really was no point of trying to manipulate how you’re going to throw the ball so you don’t drag your back toe,” said Lowe, who didn’t disagree with the coach’s assessment.

“So Roger said, ‘We’re done. We’re not going to get anything out of this.’ As you saw, I didn’t get anything out of it — [except] helped some kids out along the way.”

The “kids” he referred to were sprinkled in a patchwork Mets lineup — some young, some just obscure, some both.

Lowe, the Braves’ planned opening-day starter, hopes to make his next rotation turn but won’t know before he throws his between-starts bullpen session Friday.

“Time will tell,” said the veteran right-hander, who pitched two perfect innings in his spring debut Friday. “If you can’t push off your back foot, you’re really not doing anybody any good by going out there trying to manipulate the way you throw so your toe doesn’t hurt.”

To Lowe’s credit, he blamed only himself for not having the toe wrapped when he pitched Wednesday. He said he’s taped the problematic spot since having blisters early in his career, but stopped doing so after throwing without it wrapped in the offseason. He pushed his luck too much.

“My whole career I always had to wrap it, because I’d drag my toe and it does this,” he said, pointing to the blistered area. “I’ve had no problem with it all offseason, [spring] bullpens, the last game, nothing. Then after the third pitch — we’ve got issues.”

Manager Bobby called it “about the nastiest blister I’ve ever seen.”

One minute Cox seemed sure Lowe would make his next start if trainers tape the toe and apply something to toughen the skin. But the next minute the manager said, “We just hope that he can tape it up and not rub it raw.”

Cox said a pitcher could afford to miss one spring start and still be on schedule, but wouldn’t want to miss more than that. He didn’t say whether he considered Wednesday a missed start for Lowe.

“Thank God it’s not his arm,” Cox added.

After Carter’s home run, Russ Adams lined a single up the middle that might have taken off Lowe’s head if he’d ducked a split-second later.

“Instead of worrying about pitching I was worried about how not to drag my back toe,” he said. “I just about took one off the melon there; that would have been real fun. So it was a wasted day, it really was.”

He had some problems with finger blisters during the 2009 season, when Lowe had 15 wins but posted a 4.67 ERA and .301 opponents’ average.

64 comments Add your comment

northbeach Scott

March 10th, 2010
5:43 pm

First. So that explains why it looked like Lowe was throwing batting practice to the Mets scrub AA/AAA team, today. Frankly, that is a relief.

Richard Simmons

March 10th, 2010
5:44 pm

Phew, he’s hot ;)

Andrew Jones

March 10th, 2010
5:47 pm

those who don’t heed history will repeat it.

bruce

March 10th, 2010
5:48 pm

blistering report

shawn

March 10th, 2010
5:55 pm

Low is going t suck this year again. $60 Mil for a average pitcher? You got be kidding me. Another Boras client who enjoys early retirement on Braves payroll.

Jim Sloan

March 10th, 2010
6:00 pm

Looks mlike the Chipper influence has spread to Lowe…

Outlaw Pete? Queen of the Supermarket ? Dang Bruce

March 10th, 2010
6:02 pm

joe cox will be fine. Lowe, hope so.

DBCooper

March 10th, 2010
6:03 pm

what an idiot not to wrap it

T for Texas

March 10th, 2010
6:17 pm

Whaddaya mean DBCooper? It has only been a problem his whole career. That could have changed over the off season, and two spring traiing innings. I mean, Derek Lowe said so himself, and he’s not stupid.

melkycabrera

March 10th, 2010
6:31 pm

Give the ball to Medlin. He’s earned it.

Deborah

March 10th, 2010
6:34 pm

My daughter, who is now 21 has been a gymnast since she was an 8 year old by her choice. I have seen these young people, both male and female do bar routines with what they refer to as “rips” that are the equivalent of the whole palm having the top layer of skin off. It is horrible and it hurts and I was shocked when I first heard of them, but the young people who want to succeed continue until they get their hands tough enough to be good at their sport. They tape it up and keep going. It is laughable to me that a grown man (whom I happen to like personally) can be taken seriously with a “toe blister” that he knew how to prevent. On top of that there has been no mention of how excellently Kristopher Medlen pitched, when once again, he had to come in relief of our 15 million dollar man. I have so much more respect for the men who “man up” and say my pitching just stuck today instead of having an very conincidental ailment as pathetic excuse.

MJ

March 10th, 2010
6:38 pm

Send Lowe to the beach for 5 straight days of salt water therapy on that blister. If he spends four hours a day in the ocean he’ll be fine. It will be gone in no time and he can start to work again. It will never heal unless they give him therapy. What’s done is done – fix the stupid blister and get ready for April 1. Nothing else matters.

Can of corn

March 10th, 2010
6:38 pm

Where’s Vasquez?

Castrologist

March 10th, 2010
6:41 pm

The Braves need Lowe to be better this year. We can’t have an automatic loss every time he goes out there. I think he will be fine, and it would be fantastic to have a very solid rotation 1-5. Let’s go D Lowe, get well and have a season!

Andy Messersmith's Jealous Contract

March 10th, 2010
7:18 pm

I’m tellng you this guy is WAAAAY overpaid. Who gets blisters on their toes from pitching???

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

March 10th, 2010
7:54 pm

Vazquez is going to haunt us from afar.

Claudell Washington

March 10th, 2010
8:07 pm

Why are none of the local reporters talking about the spring Troy Glaus is having or have I just missed it? He has 8 hits in his last 8 at bats and 9 for 12 overall. I know it’s only spring training but that is VERY encouraging.

Delbert D.

March 10th, 2010
8:47 pm

Hmmm…if the toe blister continues through the season, he’ll have a better year than last year. On the DL.

The Dude

March 10th, 2010
8:54 pm

As a former college pitcher, I can attest that the blister on your push off foot can be very painful. With that said, the blister isn’t what worries them, it’s that with any injury in your feet or legs, you run the risk of changing your natural throwing motion which will ultimately lead to arm problems.

On the Troy Glaus signing. This wasa terrific signing with a huge upside potential…if he can stay healthy. I wish the Bravos would have signed Hank Blalock as well. He would give insurance at 1st and 3rd considering it’s a good bet one of the corner infielders is going to go down at some point this season.

BRAVES SHOULD SIGN CHUCK NORRIS!

justin1

March 10th, 2010
9:47 pm

im so tired of hearing about lowes “new” problems every time i turn around. his contract was a bust. COME BACK JAVY!!!!

justin1

March 10th, 2010
9:48 pm

My confidence for this year is dropping steadily by the minute

Notso Fast

March 10th, 2010
10:13 pm

We have so many starters we needed to give one away.
They do get hurt and that is why you never have too many starters.

bo

March 10th, 2010
10:15 pm

Brave One

March 10th, 2010
10:27 pm

Toe’d you so!

Larry

March 10th, 2010
10:28 pm

Jesus. It’s March and Lowe is already whining and making excuses. What a cupcake. Act like a real pro athlete and play the damn game.

Bobby's Cox

March 10th, 2010
11:39 pm

Throw some 2nd skin on that baby and get ready for the next start.

Liked the salt water therapy idea too. Ocean, 2nd Skin, pitch in 5 days.

gotigers72

March 11th, 2010
12:05 am

Is it possible that D. Lowe is kind of “thin skinned”?

bob

March 11th, 2010
2:11 am

I once got a blister on my finger while playing kickball.

go braves

March 11th, 2010
6:40 am

i just hope lowe pitches with a 60million dollar chip on the old shoulder and can get that era. down a bit. he was lucky last year to have 15 wins. obviously……

go braves

March 11th, 2010
6:47 am

no doubt loyal homer!!! Cox is the best.

38yrBravesFan

March 11th, 2010
8:03 am

Sheesh. “An ounce of prevention…”

GO BRAVES!!

leland

March 11th, 2010
8:29 am

What part did J-Hey play in Lowe’s blister? What was he doing while the blister was developing? Why didn’t he stop it? Why didn’t he make Lowe tape it properly before pitching? Didn’t J-Hey just have a day off? If so, what did he do? Does he like grits?

Blackberry Cobbler

March 11th, 2010
8:43 am

Lowe and Chipper both have boo-boos. Why should we not be surprised. Same ‘ol Braves….. a lineup full of worn-out talent.

McCann Fan

March 11th, 2010
9:12 am

Huddy should start Opening Day

GTSteve

March 11th, 2010
9:17 am

Leland, thats funny

ATLFan

March 11th, 2010
9:30 am

Can’t he just put a big bandaid on it? I do that all the time and keep playing basketball. Jeez …

Rsellers83

March 11th, 2010
9:34 am

Sounds to me Lowe might be a diabetic. Have his sugar checked. Blisters, some very big and on my right foot, bit toe. Painful when I was at work and could not stop to bandage it that first day.

Rsellers83

March 11th, 2010
9:35 am

Big toe, sorry.

Don

March 11th, 2010
9:41 am

Agreement between Cox supporters and Cox critics. There should be and has to be agreement that Cox in fact does or does not do certain things; therefore the disagreement must be as to whether these practices are good:
(1) There has to be agreement that Cox basically does not adjust his batting order based on who is hot and who is not.
(2) There has to be agreement that Bobby does not move a star player down out of his favorite spot in the batting order even if he is in a terrible long long slump.
(3) Surely no one can disagree that Bobby has left a favorite player in the lineup for months when he is not producing very effectively and everyone knows that he has a better option on the bench.
(4) It is an obvious fact that Cox has continued to use a terrible pinch hitter game after game after game in game determining situations when he is producing almost nothing.
(5) Evryone knows that season after season, Bobby has continued to use a relief pitcher game after game after game – who is almost always ineffective.
(6) There has to be agreement that Bobby does not adjust his batting order or lineup relating to certain hitters doing great or terrible agaisnt certaing opposing starting pitchers.
(7) It is obvious that season after season, Cox has overused certain relief pitchers to the point that they are worn out and ineffective for the last part of the season.
(8) It is obvious that Bobby Cox does not teach, emphasize, demand that his hitters be selective, work the count, make the pitcher throw some pitches – in order to see what the pitcher has, adjust to the pitcher, get better pitches to hit, make him make mistakes, wear him down both within innings and for the game etc. But basically lets the hitter have the freedom to swing away.
Since most of these things are a matter of record or are obvious – Then the disagreement must be that the Cox Supporters MUST THINK THAT THESE ARE GOOD PRACTICES or that Cox has other characteristics that outweigh these factors.

bvillebaron

March 11th, 2010
9:50 am

Blackberry:

Yep, McCann, Escobar, McLouth, Hanson, Jurrjens, Heyward and soon Freeman is a lineup full of worn-out talent.

Lyman

March 11th, 2010
9:52 am

Hampton did it, so can Lowe(get millions, do nothing)

my wife has bigguns

March 11th, 2010
9:59 am

Why not just love the Braves instead of all the hate..I will do my part..Anyone who emails and asks can get a pic of my wife..georgiagal1972@hotmail.com

Lowes Credit Score

March 11th, 2010
10:07 am

<>

To his CREDIT??!!!?? After he says the following:

<>

… and knowing this he chooses not to take care of it? To his CREDIT?? Make that a Credit Score of .000.

Can’t somebody (reporters) around here write the truth? Can’t somebody (reporters) around here ask embarrassing questions so the dudes who get their bazillion$$ anyway are too ashamed about their antics to even talk?

So is Lowe becoming another version of Mike Hampton?

Lowes Credit Score

March 11th, 2010
10:11 am

***To Lowe’s credit, he blamed only himself for not having the toe wrapped…***
To his CREDIT??!!!?? After he says the following

***“My whole career I always had to wrap it, because I’d drag my toe and it does this,” he said, pointing to the blistered area.***

… and knowing this he chooses not to take care of it? To his CREDIT?? Make that a Credit Score of .000.

Can’t somebody (reporters) around here write the truth? Can’t somebody (reporters) around here ask embarrassing questions so the dudes who get their bazillion$$ anyway are too ashamed about their antics to even talk?

So is Lowe becoming another version of Mike Hampton?

DOB

March 11th, 2010
10:20 am

Who cares about Glaus? Got to find out what size shirt Heyward wears on those big, muscular shoulders…

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

March 11th, 2010
10:20 am

Don, we can all agree that you are a tool

Clay

March 11th, 2010
10:25 am

I agree with Don.

raindawg722

March 11th, 2010
10:35 am

When I read the first three words of the blog headline I was anticipating, “There goes Tokyo.”

who cares anymore?

March 11th, 2010
10:51 am

So Lowe becomes another casualty before the season starts, joining Chippers thumb. BC is not worried the accolades will come for him anyway. He should have retired after 2005 AD. Lowe stunk last yr. as did Chipper. Lets see how long Glaus lasts before he is hurting and takes time off. We gave awa6y potentially the best pitcher to keep Lowe because no one else wanted him. Is this another of Wrenns follies. Saito is 40 y.o, see how long he’ll last in the heat in ATL. Another dog and pony show year, with the sportswriters shilling for the Braves again. BOYCOTT THE BRAVES!!!

Steve

March 11th, 2010
10:54 am

These blogs boards are getting worse every day.

CW – Plenty of talk about Glaus lately, which started after his 5 straight hits. You must have been absent a couple of days.

Don – While I like mot of your points, I should also note that you are either dead wrong on #8, or the Braves hitters have flourished under the hands off approach. Has to be one of the two since they have been in the top 10 in all of MLB in 6 of the last 7 years in walks. That’s amazing considering they had Frenchy, Diaz and Andruw for significant portions of those years and there is not a single coach on Earth that could get those three to be selective.

Turnip – I seriously doubt it given Vazquez history. Besides, his first spring outing was even worse than Lowe’s and I didn’t hear the Yankee fans whining like the babies here in the ATL. Chances are Vaz

Steve

March 11th, 2010
10:59 am

Daggum ole Enter key.

As I was saying, chances are Vazquez will return to earth significantly. Probably around a 4 ERA, but still get plenty of K’s and enough wins to make him look like a decent trade for the Yanks.

What you have to realize is that the money we saved in trading Vazquez also allowed us to immediately sign Glaus and Hinske. When I look at it this way, with the depth in pitching we have … I do not miss Vazquez one bit right now. In fact, I am ecstatic about the way this is workign out so far. I do wish we could have gotten the same package for Lowe, but Vazquez would have been one more and done for the Braves anyhow. This might have been a good thing with all the young arms we have, but Wren did what he could. We bought VERY low on Vazquez and sold somewhere in the MIDDLE.

Brian from SC

March 11th, 2010
11:14 am

To the one who asked if Lowe was now a version of Mike Hampton…could you be any more ignorant? Lowe has started at least 32 games EIGHT YEARS IN A ROW! He has led the NL in games started the last two years! Are you serious?! I really think some people shouldn’t have access to the internet.

Brian from SC

March 11th, 2010
11:16 am

Castrologist…you said you can’t have it as an automatic loss every time Lowe goes out there. Did you know the Braves were 21-13 in games Lowe started last year? That’s the best win percentage of any pitcher on the Braves staff and a 100-win pace.

Now, how exactly do you figure “automatic loss”, when it’s actually quite the opposite?

come on

March 11th, 2010
11:18 am

just another soft baseball player. this is why baseball needs to take a page out of the nfl book and make contracts not guaranteed

Brian from SC

March 11th, 2010
11:21 am

As much as everyone harps on the “terrible” season Lowe had last year, consider the fact that he really got destroyed in 3 games (Orioles, Yankees, Mets). In his other 31 starts, he was 15-7 with a 3.87 ERA. And the Braves were 21-10 in those 31 starts.

I’m not saying Derek Lowe is one of the best pitchers in the league. He’s probably the 4th best pitcher in the rotation. But to say he’s an “automatic loss”, or he’s terrible, or worthless, is just flat out wrong in every way.

Brian from SC

March 11th, 2010
11:25 am

Sorry to belabor the point, but I had to throw one more in there. The Braves were 21-13 in Derek Lowe’s starts last year. The Giants were 19-13 in Cy Young winner Lincecum’s starts. The Braves were 17-17 in Jurrjens starts, 12-9 in Hanson’s, and 18-14 in Vazquez’s.

Lowe didn’t pitch as well as any of those guys, but he gave the Braves a great chance to win most days out there. Pretty good for your 4th best starter.

Mike Jay

March 11th, 2010
12:04 pm

Yea the braves Hatorade is flowing this year like never before. We were damn close to wildacrd last year and we have great chance at one this year. Lighten up folks. Lowe is not terrible or soft.

jim

March 11th, 2010
12:16 pm

Can we lighten up a little?? Joe Nathan has elbow ligament damage. Jose Reyes has hyper thyroid problems thart have caused him to miss all of ST so far and Beltran is out for the first 2 months. Chipper had a sore thumb that caused him to mis 2 games. Lowe has a blister that may cause him to mis an ST start. Just be thankful we don’t have some of the other guys problems!!!

Clay

March 11th, 2010
1:03 pm

Thanks for the stats on Lowe, Brian from SC.

jim, I’ll lighten up on Chipper when he plays a season without sitting his butt on the bench for “tweaks”. Chipper is always “tweaking” his: thumb(s), hammy, back, oblique, bicep, quad, groin, etc. It’s always something with Chipper. Even Smoltzie called himout for it a couple of years ago. And, the worst part? That little detail of $80,000 plus per game, even when he’s nursing his “tweaks.”

jsatt32

March 11th, 2010
1:11 pm

Lowe’s going to have to put up or shut up this year! I mean, with the adult league softball team we have for an offense, our pitching staff is going to have to give up less than 1 run a game for us to have a chance. No speed, overpaid babies, and injury proned dinosuars = 2010 Braves.

Mark Biles

March 11th, 2010
1:23 pm

I hope it was his toe and not his “mechanics” screwed up again. We can’t take another meltdown by Lowe down the strech again.

lodi phil

March 11th, 2010
3:09 pm

D-Lowe is a big boy who is well-compensated. He needs to grow a pair!

T for Texas

March 11th, 2010
3:34 pm

Them are some good points Brian.

T for Texas

March 11th, 2010
3:36 pm

Sorry–Them is some good points, sir.

Add your comment