Lowe’s spring marred by three innings

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Ten of 11 earned runs against Derek Lowe this spring came in three innings, and the veteran pitcher didn’t know quite what to make of that Wednesday.

“That’s either good or bad,” Lowe said of  that statistic. “You couldn’t stop the bleeding, or the other innings were good.”

He was charged with six hits and three runs in four innings of a 10-5 win against the Houston Astros on Wednesday, Lowe’s final tuneup before an opening-day start against the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

The recurring spring pattern: all the runs off Lowe were in one inning, the first inning, on a walk and two hits, including Chris Johnson’s two-out homer on a sinker that didn’t sink.

“It was a little lethargic,” the veteran right-hander said. “Wasn’t the greatest of starts. But I think obviously the last three innings [were better]

“… Wasn’t as sharp as you’d want to be. But it’s hard not to start looking forward when you’re only five days away, knowing that you’ve still got to go out there and make your last [spring] start.”

Lowe had three strikeouts and his first two walks of the spring. In five Grapefruit League starts he was charged with 25 hits and two walks in 22 innings and had 18 strikeouts.

“After that first inning he found his location with his fastball, kept it down, kept them off-balance today,” catcher Brian McCann said. “His success comes with that sinker and how much it moves and how much he’s throwing it for strikes.”

Except for three woeful innings, Lowe’s spring was a success. But those three were a thrill ride.

He gave up five hits and three runs in one inning against the Mets, when a blister popped on his right big toe on the third pitch of the game and he came out after one inning.

He gave up four runs in the fourth inning of an otherwise dominant five-inning outing against Toronto, and then Wednesday’s first inning.

“But overall I’d say it was a good spring,” Lowe said. “A lot of it was pretty consistent.”

Statistically, his 3-0 spring record and 4.50 ERA seem reminiscent of the 2009 season, when Lowe went 15-10 despite a 4.67 ERA in his first season with the Braves — more than a full run higher than his ERA over the previous four seasons with the Dodgers.

He pitched far more soundly in most innings this spring than during the second half of last season. And the rocky few innings didn’t seem to raise any caution flags with the Braves.

“He walked a couple of guys, but he was only missing by inches,” manager Bobby Cox said. “He had a great spring, I think.”

57 comments Add your comment

All I'm Saying Is...

March 31st, 2010
6:13 pm

Lowe is not only a World Series winning pitcher but a professional with a lot of pride who is going to bounce back strong and this time maintain it throughout the season.

LET’S GO BRAVES!

ASHEVILLE DAWG

March 31st, 2010
6:45 pm

If Lowe goes at least 15-10, who would complain?

honolulu brave

March 31st, 2010
6:54 pm

Interesting quote by Cox, “he was only missing by inches”, that is good cause I would be worried if he was missing by feet. I can hear Bob Eucker now in Major League “Just a bit outside”

Paddy O

March 31st, 2010
7:06 pm

Lowe: Won 3 consecutive series clinching games. He is a good pitcher. He should win between 14 and 22 games, if he gets good run support.

Tdwg

March 31st, 2010
7:22 pm

And we gave away our best picture for nothing (JV). Couldn’t we have just as easily given Derek Lowe away for nothing. Derek generally starts the season out on fire and fizzles by the break. Vasquez could have won 25 games with any resemblance of run support. He only got stronger as the season wore on.

Riding the Pines

March 31st, 2010
7:27 pm

First.

Damn.

Missed it by inches.

Knucksie

March 31st, 2010
7:34 pm

Derek Lowe should back up to the pay table–If Lowe got the run support that Jair Jurrgens recieved last year Lowe’s record would have been 3-15

VP

March 31st, 2010
7:43 pm

Tdwg,

The Braves were willing to give away Lowe for nothing. Nobody balked. What else do you want them to do?

Sambo

March 31st, 2010
7:56 pm

I was at today’s game and Lowe settled down and pitched well. Outside of the homer, the other hits were seeing-eye singles…. Lowe will be fine as will the Braves if they stay healthy. Bring on the season.

Hello

March 31st, 2010
8:13 pm

An ERA is an earned run average. The good comes with the bad and you average it out. You can’t discard the bad innings nor the good innings. This particular ERA isn’t that impressive.

Branch Rickey

March 31st, 2010
8:25 pm

Find a taker (sucker) for Lowe’s contract, replace him in the rotation with Kris Medlin, and use all that money toward Carl Crawford when he becomes a free agent !

What Lowe did in the past is exactly that – in the PAST ! That sinker ball ain’t sinking anymore folks ! Wake up and smell the roses !

kjb

March 31st, 2010
8:51 pm

let’s hit j heyward in the leadoff spot!!!

bobbyflanders

March 31st, 2010
9:04 pm

‘He had a great spring, I think?’

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
9:40 pm

Find a taker (sucker) for Lowe’s contract, replace him in the rotation with Kris Medlin, and use all that money toward Carl Crawford when he becomes a free agent !

What Lowe did in the past is exactly that – in the PAST ! That sinker ball ain’t sinking anymore folks ! Wake up and smell the roses ! — Branch Rickey

Well, in that case it shouldn’t be any problem finding a taker for his contract, Mr. Rickey.

TheAntiMe

March 31st, 2010
9:41 pm

D. Lowe may have had some rough innings but were he not a good pitcher he would not have such a good Win Pct. Lowe is a winner and has been throughout his career, I expect this season to be no different.

Ray

March 31st, 2010
9:43 pm

I think we got a decent return on Vazquez. When he becomes a free agent, the Braves wouldn’t have offerred arbitration. That would leave them with nothing. Instead, they got a decent OF, a power lefty reliever and a top minor league prospect. The prospect was rated the best pitcher in Yanks minor league system. They’ve made much worse deals. (Drew, Teixeira)

gene garbage

March 31st, 2010
9:46 pm

Lowe-15 wins, Jurrjens-17 wins, Hanson-15 wins, Hudson-15 wins, KK- 12 wins, Medlin and Jo Jo-7 wins(filling in). a bunch of guys hitting .280 or better, bullpen better= playoffs..

gene garbage

March 31st, 2010
9:49 pm

am i aiming too high, maybe…but how’s the saying go “shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you land among the stars”..we either win the east or run away with the wildcard…

Monger

March 31st, 2010
9:55 pm

Tdawg- You are a bit misinformed like alot of the ignorant atlanta braves fans Ive seen throughout my 24 years. How exactly did the Braves get nothing??? They recieved Melky Cabrera, a very solid 4th outfielder, capable of playing all three OF spots. OH YEAH, and those two really good pitching prospects…ONE OF WHICH WAS THE YANKEES #1 OVERALL PROSPECT!!! YOU KNOW #1 right, like Jason Heyward is our #1. His name is Aroyds Vizcaino, and he is a future ace to pair with the likes of Hanson and JJ. He is very young, and his fastball hits in the mid 90s with an excellent curve and slider, and his change-up is coming along nicely. Thirdly, we got Mike Dunn, a hard throwing left handed reliever…hits mid 90s as well, and those hard throwing lefties with a ton of talent dont come around often. So please be smarter when you post next time….Just letting you know we got three young players in the Javy trade, an above average outfielder, a future ace and #1 overall prospect of the Yankees, who should be as impressive Jurrjens and Hanson in 2012, and a young, hard throwing left handed reliever, who has a very bright future if he can cut down on his walks…just saying.

-Monger

bob

March 31st, 2010
10:26 pm

Kind of hard to pro rate a season by three innings. DOB, you deserved a phone it in blog some days.

Branch Rickey

March 31st, 2010
10:31 pm

Monger,

If Mike Dunn is so good why is he not in the Braves’ bullpen today, and not in the minor league camp?

Vizcaino is 19 and may never reach the majors. He won’t be contributing for a few years, if at all.

Melky is a 4th outfielder at best.

So we traded Vazquez, coming off his BEST season and at full market potential, and got little in return when offense was the objective. Unless Vizcaino blossoms in 3-4 years, Wren got took !

Sugar Bear Blanks

March 31st, 2010
10:35 pm

Lets trade Lowe, JoJo, Melky & Diaz to Tampa for Carl Crawford !

Monger

March 31st, 2010
11:04 pm

Branch Rickey,
I respectfully disagree with you. Mike Dunn is still very young, if you want to make that same argument, than address for me why Kimbrell isnt in the braves bullpen. There is simply limited spots that go to mostly veteran guys with contracts, and younger guys need more seasoning. I didnt say he was the next Mariano Rivera, but he definately has some talent. The reason he may not be brought up this year would be that he is still young, and needs to work on control just a little bit. Please re-read his preseason stats and get back at me, last I checked he pitched 7 scoreless innings.
Vizcaino- The Yankees number one pitching prospect, he is very raw, and improving every year. Scouts say he has three above average pitches already, and will probably be up around 2012. Not the 4 years as you mention, once again do the math, thats two years, get your facts straight. I have heard comparisons to dwight gooden as well. Not really sure what your point is, yes he is still in AA and may not pan out to an ace, but you could say that about any prospect…Strasburg, Kimbell, Hanson a couple years ago… you do your research, you take your chances, however this kid barring some kind of setback has all the tools that JJ and Hanson did at his age, I see him stepping into the rotation in 2012, maybe late 2011 and being a great starter…Not sure why youre bashing him before hes pitched a major league game…

Melky is a 4th outfielder at best, agreed. However, he is more the third piece in the deal. And I might add as a 4th outfielder, he is still only 25, is very versatile, plays solid defense, and has been on a winning team for 4 years. No complaints from me…

My overall point is to look at this from a future standpoint, and not just NOW NOW NOW, like so many idiotic fans do nowadays. Many thought the Teixera trade was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and now we have 5 less prospects in our farm system, and Elvis Andrus is really starting to come into his own. Im not a fortune teller, Im just saying we got three young players, including a young reliever and future ace who could cement himself into the rotation for the next ten years with JJ and Hanson, remember he was the $200 Million dollar a year Yankees #1 prospect, and he didnt get that title for nothing.

Considering the main objective was to cut Vazquezs 11.5 million dollar salary, and we walk away with one good young pitcher, one great young pitcher, and an above average outfieler, while cutting 9 million in payroll, which we used to sign Glaus and Hinske, as well as free up future money to sign Jurrjens and Hanson long term…Id say it was a fairly good trade.

Go back and look at Javys career stats, he had a career year last year, I personally think he is a great pitcher when hes in the NL, but based on past stats and age, I doubt he would have repeated his success from last year. Not to mention he was a free agent after this year anyway, we could have gotten nothing for him, and now we could have a future ace to go with Jurrjens, Hanson, Medlen, Rorbrough, and Teheran…

-Monger

Mike30326

March 31st, 2010
11:13 pm

I am now convinced half the comments on here are from people that know as much about baseball as they do about brain surgery…or perhaps require brain surgery. The Braves have a superb team this year barring injury (just as any team). Just look at the spring stats. I know, I know…spring stats mean nothing. But Cox never played to win in the spring, just to mold the team, yet the stats are impressive. Starting pitching is probably the best starting 5 in the NL. Run production is great. Batting average among the projected starters is great. Projected middle relievers look great. Closers are looking very close to great. Come on guys, quit looking for ways to lose and jump on the wagon with optimism!

Balzer the Great

March 31st, 2010
11:27 pm

I don’t know yet Monger about those predictions you’ve made. My crystal ball is a bit cloudy and I can’t see anyhing beyond 8 hrs from now. To be able to see several years into the future is great/ To predict Dunn will be a star in the future is stepping into my realm. Melky is a part time OF at best. For Lowe to admit he had a good spring though a little lethargic on this last start, makes me wonder if he understands that not giving up runs is his job. Gives me little confidence in BCs last year.

Conyers Braves Fan

April 1st, 2010
5:02 am

Bobby Cox is always loyal to his players (even to a fault). His comment about
Lowe “He had a great spring, I think” is typical. My opinion is not based on any
qualifications to judge because I am just a fan. However, the performance
by Lowe in these spring games was far from great, I think.

Mama Cox

April 1st, 2010
6:25 am

A good Mama is always loyal. And I is a Mama royale.

Hooter Girl

April 1st, 2010
6:59 am

Betcha a plate of hot wings and a pitcher of beer that Lowe’s stats are as good or better than Vasquez’s at the end of the season. LOL

Johnboy

April 1st, 2010
8:08 am

For some of those out there who are clearly to young to understand how this game works here’s a primer. Everyone would LOVE to win it all this year especially for BC. Good skippers understand however that the season is long and the future must ALWAYS be kept in mind as well.This off season and this Spring, clearly represent an approach of “getting back to the future” by the front office. I f you are lost in this, do your research and read scouting reports from people who study the game for a living.The Braves are DECIDEDLY better in the areas that were glaring weaknesses last season but more importantly our farm system is back among the elite in baseball . Buying championships rarely works and almost never over the long haul. “Defense wins championships” in football & basketball. if you don’t see that, you have never heard of Vince Lombardi. In this game , it’s about pitching, period.You will always have a chance at winning if you limit your opponent to fewer runs. Our run production is better than last year & will compliment a solid staff & pen. Although BC is seemingly overly loyal at times, it is frequently a matter of the lesser of 2 evils when you understand probability.I would be thrilled to see the BRAVES play more small ball and steal more, but at least we are a competitive club and are well positioned for the years ahead…unless we give it away AGAIN to rent some “savior” for a season.

lefty fielder

April 1st, 2010
8:13 am

don’t know why people keep saying the braves . . . or any other team . . . can bundle 3 or 4 of their worst players and trade to another team for one of their best players

Branch Rickey

April 1st, 2010
8:46 am

Monger,

Unless you are Nostradamas, the Vazquez trade was a bad move. Prospects don’t mean squat. Ever hear of Andres Thomas? Brad Komminsk? Bruce Chen? Andy Marte? All top prospects in the Braves organizations that were total flops. Live in the present & near future.

Johnboy

April 1st, 2010
9:05 am

Branch Rickey, Unless I am in a galaxy far away I don’t remember very many hitting above .300 consistently. The Carews, Williams , Jones, Gwynn etc. are the EXCEPTIONS. If “prospects don’t mean squat” why even have a farm system at all? Sure the BRAVOS have had some shouldas & couldas, but this instant gratification fantasy of all or nothing now is pretty risky. What do you make of the Marlins TODAY as opposed to the” renta champs” of the past that were promptly fire saled the next year? Sure it was great having their cast offs for awhile but did it get us a ring ? Their system is LOADED and they are a lot more consistent year in year out. WHY ? Because the front office changed their approach.

Joey

April 1st, 2010
9:12 am

Far more reminiscent of ‘09 for Lowe was the sinkerball not sinking. Thought it was mechanics and he had fixed it in the off season. Didn’t you write on that a couple of months ago DOB?

Johnboy

April 1st, 2010
9:23 am

All who think that the Detroit Tigers fared better with Doyle Alexander than the Braves did w/ Smoltz give us a Tomahawk chop….Ok not fair, I know. Uhh, how about giving the Rangers “Salty” for a taste of “TEX” Oh yeah , but Salty was out of options …. see the recent SI article about Matt Wieters from GT and the value of elite catchers…. the all or nothing business hasn’t worked out so well for the home team, as best I can tell. I long for the time tested approach that JOHN S. took when he was GM. Yes we did try some trades but we mortgaged our future and had no gas in the tank when the party was over.

WonderDawg

April 1st, 2010
9:35 am

Monger, don’t waste your breath. Mr Rickey is obviously a real baseball expert. Haha. Anyone who can see past the end of his nose knows this was a good deal for the Braves. Vasquez has never had good seasons back-to-back, and after this season he was gone with anyway, with nothing in return. We got a good outfielder who batted 500 times for the world champs, a hard-throwing lefty who will probably be in the bullpen sometime this season, and the Yankees’ number one pitching prospect. No, Cashman “got took”, not Wren.

Branch Rickey

April 1st, 2010
9:43 am

Look at free agency. Fair to average pitchers have CAREER years in their free agent year, & get boatloads of money. Look at Mike Hampton, Dave McNally, Wayne Garland, Barry Zito, as examples. Javier Vazquez had his CAREER year in 2009, and should have won 25 games if the Braves had had any offense. Frank Wren should have gotten a lot more in return for a pitcher in his prime, coming off a stellar season.

Steve Phillips

April 1st, 2010
10:03 am

Branch Rickey is correct ! The Braves did not get maximum return on the Vazquez deal. Dunn & Vizcano are fine prospects, but they won’t help the 2010 Braves, if at all. Payroll was definitely shed, but no real improvement to the 2010 team.

dpelfrey

April 1st, 2010
10:10 am

“Frank Wren should have gotten a lot more in return for a pitcher in his prime, coming off a stellar season.”

You probably said the same thing when they traded a 30-year old shortstop that had just hit .332 for a couple of prospects. You’ll eat your words in a few years when Arodys-mania strikes.

Branch Rickey's an idiot

April 1st, 2010
10:15 am

Prospects don’t mean squat? You really are a moron. What about Smoltz?…he was once a prospect the Braves got in a trade. How’d that work out for them? Heyward was/is a prospect. Chipper was a prospect. Andruw Jones, Brian McCann, Escobar, Hanson, Jurjens, etc…They all start in the minors as prospects. See what you have to say at the end of the season when Vazquez has a 5.00 era and the Yankees give him another $50 million.

Tom B.

April 1st, 2010
10:38 am

we will regret that we didn’t ditch Lowe and keep Vasquez; will this management ever stop making stupid decisions?

Branch Rickey

April 1st, 2010
10:45 am

Melvin Nieves. Brad Komminsk. Bruce Chen. Andres Thomas. Derek Lilliquist. Pete Smith. Andy Marte. Tony Tarasco. Blaine Boyer. Shall I name some more top prospects that were utter busts from the Braves farm system?

My point is don’t count on some 19 year-old phenom to be the second coming of Jair Jurrjens or Tommy Hansen. Realistically, at 19 , Vizcaino will see the majors in 3-4 years, if at all.

Again, the 2010 Braves will not be improved as a result of Vazquez trade. Melky is very average at best, and didn’t produce much on a talent-laden Yankees team where there were runners on base most of the time. Do you think he’ll produce on the Braves? Dream on !

Should Be Working

April 1st, 2010
10:45 am

You can’t just look at the Vasquez deal as the straight 1 for 3 swap that it looks like on paper. He might have pitched like an ace last year but we have such depth at pitcher it offered us a unique opportunity to improve ourselves not just this year (with using the extra money to pick up Hinske and Glaus and getting a legit outfielder with Melky) but for years to come (with Dunn and Vizcaino). Keep in mind these 3 players we got we control for years, unlike Vazquez who would have bolted at the end of this season anyway. Think about the prospects we sent to Chicago in the first place to get Vazquez, there is no question that we didn’t flip those around into a better package that we got from the Yankees. Hinske is an amazing talent to have coming off the bench especially considering the fact that we had to stomach Norton last year.

bvillebaron

April 1st, 2010
10:47 am

Branch Rickey:

Eveyone knows Vazquez was traded because there was no market for Lowe. Wren made a very wise decision in keeping Hudson and trading Vazquez for several reasons. First, Hudson has been a better pitcher throughout his career than Vazquez who clearly had a career year last year. If a starting pitcher had to go for budgetary reasons, that alone would have justified keeping Hudson rather than Vazquez. It became a no brainer when you consider that Hudson agreed to a 3 year extension (rather than let him buy out of his contract in which case the Braves get nothing for him) at a little over $9 million per year and Vazquez was owed $11.5 million this year and becomes a free agent at the end of the year (which means that he leaves and the Braves likely get nothing as well because I don’t think they would offer him arbitration).

Time will tell as to whether the Braves got “enough” for Vazquez and most national writers feel that it was an even trade and I agree with them. However, your comment that prospects don’t mean squat is ridiculous. Do you wish the Braves wish they could have a “do over” of the Texeira trade? Andrus and Feliz are well on their way to stardom; Salty may still be a factor and Harrison will be at least a serviceable pitcher.

chc4

April 1st, 2010
10:47 am

Gotta love the DOB spin. Bottom line is Lowe was mediocre last year and is being paid like a #1 starter. I don’t care what the ratio of good innings to bad is. He needs to be better.

sportsmandh

April 1st, 2010
10:49 am

Branch Rickey,

Come on now, Pete Smith wasn’t that bad. (I won’t defend the other guys on your list)

Braves Fan

April 1st, 2010
10:53 am

What is it with all the Schuerholz & Wren apologists on this forum?

The Braves have not been to the post-season since 2005; FIVE years now !

The Drew, Texeira and Vazquez trades were BAD people ! The Lowe signing was not good, and the Braves are on the dole for 45 million dollars ! He’s an aging, very average at best starter getting ACE pay. That money could have been used to get premier talent.

Should Be Working

April 1st, 2010
11:06 am

Braves Fan you’re absolutely right, Dunn and Texeira were horrible trades for us. And the Lowe signing wasn’t the best, but do you not remember getting slapped around that entire offseason especially by Burnett and Furcal? At that point we needed something… anything. Nobody even paid attention to the Vazquez trade that year except noting that we got an innings eater that apparently “chokes” according to Oz (not that I agree, Oz is kind of out there).
But like I said, the prospects we sent to Chi to get Vazquez in the first place are bush league compared to the ones we got for him from the Yankees and is crazy good compared to what we got in return for Tex… oh yeah we didn’t get anything back for him.

Should Be Working

April 1st, 2010
11:12 am

*Drew not Dunn

Braves Fan

April 1st, 2010
11:20 am

Nothing like being homers and swallowing the Schuerholz/Wren/Cox Kool Aid, but I look at the Braves starting eight, and compare it to the Phillies, and its not even close !

Yeah, the Phillies payroll is a bit more, but I see ONE THIRD of the Braves’ 2010 payroll spent on TWO players – Derek Lowe & Chipper Jones, not exactly premier talent by any stretch of the imagination, and both in their late 30s.

About a year ago, Wren was trying to peddle Escobar, our best offensive player in 2009, for a starting pitcher. I don’t see the logic here.

I wonder if the farm system had not been looted for Drew & Texeira, and the money spent a bit wiser, where the Braves might be positioned now. The Marlins, Rockies, Rays have made the big dance in recent years, on payrolls a lot less than what Wren has to work with.

Frank Wren

April 1st, 2010
12:11 pm

I just had to sign Derek Lowe, at all costs ! I couldn’t come home from the winter meetings and have nothing to show for it. Yeah, I overspent and painted myself into a corner, knowing full well no other team would want to take on that contract for a late 30s pitcher, whose sinking ball just ain’t sinking like it used to.

Carl Crawford would look great patrolling leftfield at Turner Field in 2011. With Lowe’s contract and Chipper hanging around, its not going to be possible.

Sorry, Braves’ fans!

MIke Tankersley

April 1st, 2010
1:14 pm

Hey Branch: I’ll bet you thought the Braves “got took” when they traded veteran Doyle Alexander to the Tigers back in the 1980s. Doyle won 9 straight for the Tigers and helped them win their division.

All we got was this kid prospect….John Smoltz
If you paid attention, the Vazquez trade was about unloading his big contract because we has too much of our payroll invested in pitching and only the Yankees took the deal. The Braves dealt from strength (pitching), filled a need and got younger. I loved what Vazquez did last year. But this is a business. We could not trade Lowe (big contract+lousy year), so the Braves traded the more valuable commodity and got what they could and saved some money, and they thus are taking the chance that Lowe bounces back (and if he does, it’ll be much easier to trade him and his contract, if they so desire).

What the Braves figured was this: Lowe is just as likely in 2010 to have the better year between the two.Pride has something to do with it, to be honest. And Lowe has an ace’s mentality (if not the results last year). Things don’t happen in a vacuum. Plus, the Braves are hoping Hudson is as effective as JV was last season.
The reality is, no team except the Yankees can do business without adhering to a budget. If you are going to judge Frank Wren by that standard:
a) he’ll never match up and will always be an “idiot” in your eyes
b) you’ll continue to reveal yourself as a yahoo Braves fan with no comprehension of the complexity of payrolls and rosters and the like

Mark Biles

April 1st, 2010
1:22 pm

I believe Lowe will have a good year, but I don’t think he is an ace anymore. I think Hudson should be the # 1 starter followed by Jurrjens, Lowe, Hanson and KK.

Kelly's Johnson

April 1st, 2010
1:34 pm

Mike Tankersley,

Are you Frank Wren’s lover?

You’re swallowing it !

Braves Fan

April 1st, 2010
1:46 pm

Lowe’s going to have a better year in 2010? Hopefully, he will so Wren can unload his contract, and put Medlin in the rotation; using the money elsewhere. Based on Lowe’s age and what he did the second half of last season, I have my doubts.

Braves Fan

April 1st, 2010
1:51 pm

Mr. Tankersley,

Remember when the Braves traded Brett Butler to the Indians for Len Barker? It got Joe Torre canned as manager.

Remember when GM Bobby Cox traded Steve Bedrosian & Tommy Greene to the Phillies for a washed up catcher named Ozzie Virgil? Bedrock won the Cy Young & Greene threw a no-hitter.

Were you a yahoo Braves fan then, as you are now, guzzling the Kool Aid Braves’ management puts out ?

Brent

April 1st, 2010
4:24 pm

I can agree that Lowe is overpaid at $15 million; however, more often than not, he gives us a chance to win. The Braves were 21-13 in games he started last year, primarily because he gave us a quality start 62% of the time. His overall numbers were skewed because when he was bad, he was BAD. He got pounded a few times, for sure. If you look at just the bad starts where he gave up 6 or more runs or pitched fewer than 5 innings (though a couple of those were rain delays, not his fault), his 7 “bad” starts accounted for 23.2 IP, 54 hits and a 13.31 ERA. In his other 27 starts, he accounted for 171 IP, 178 hits and a 3.47 ERA. Remarkably, the Braves were 3-4 in those bad starts (what JJ wouldn’t give for that kind of run support). Still, my point is that he’s a better-than-average pitcher who occasionally gets shelled. He’s not being counted on to be a true #1 as Hanson, Jurrjens and Hudson are all better pitchers at this point in their careers than Lowe. So, if you’re going to criticize anything, criticize the $15-million price tag. As far as the player himself, without respect to his contract, he can certainly pitch for us and help us be a winning ball club.

DawgB

April 2nd, 2010
11:08 am

Lowe did WIN 15 games last year. His record of 15-10 was actually better than his average record while with the Dodgers. An average of 3.5 more wins vs. losses. So if he was being paid for his Dodger numbers, he was not “overpaid”. He may not be the staff “Ace” anymore, but does not need to be this year. IMO we have the best starting rotation in the bigs. We may not have the 5 best pitchers in baseball (Who does??), but any one of our 5 would be no less than the # 3 starter on most teams, KK included.

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