As a Braves fan, this amuses me way more than it should. The Indians have designated starting pitcher Derek Lowe for assignment. Lowe was acquired by the Indians from the Braves this past offseason in essentially a salary dump, with Atlanta picking up $10 million of Lowe's $15 million salary in 2012, the final year of a four year pact he signed with the Braves prior to the 2009 season.
Over that contract, Lowe just hasn't been nearly as good as he was during a four year stint with the Dodgers from 2005 to 2008. While Lowe's groundball rate, his bread and butter, has remained strong over the last four years, it hasn't even touched his career worst 60.3% mark, coming as close as 60.0% this year. Lowe's luck with BABIP has also expired, with him posting a BABIP of over .300 in each of the last four seasons, with this season's .333 total being the second-worst of his career. Lowe also hasn't touched 200 innings in a season since 2008, the final season of a span where Lowe threw 200 innings in five of seven seasons.
But this year, it's all gone pear-shaped for Lowe. His strikeout rate in the AL Central has fallen to an anemic 3.10, the worst mark of his career by more than 1.5 batters per nine and the third worst mark among all pitchers in baseball with at least 20 innings pitched. Lowe's walk rate of 3.40 is also much higher than his career norm, but close to identical to last year's 3.37. Furthermore, Lowe's 0.91 strikeout to walk ratio is seventh worst in baseball. That's...not good at all.
Lowe will probably get picked up somewhere, by a team that is desperate for pitching (San Diego, perhaps...a return to the west coast might be good for Lowe) or as a bullpen arm for a contender. You could probably use Lowe as a specialist against a righty to get a double play, and as long as he's not facing lefties in clutch situations, he might actually be salvageable.
Photo courtesy of Daylife.com
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