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Monday, January 19, 2009

The Great Stabilizer?

Position: Pitcher
Bats: R
Throws: R
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 170 lbs.
2009 Age: 36

2008 Stats
34 GS
211 IP
194 H
84 R
76 ER
14 HR
45 BB
1.92 BB/9
147 K
6.27 K/9
3.24 ERA
131 ERA+

After being denied the opportunity to have A. J. Burnett in their starting rotation, the Braves opted to sign the 36-year old Lowe to a four-year contract. Lowe's a well-known sinkerballer. He also has a curve, change and a cut fastball. He seems to be Atlanta's type of pitcher; a control guy who gives up few walks and allows lots of ground balls. He duplicated his career high in strikeouts last season (147) and had his lowest ERA since 2002 as well (3.24). The move from Dodgers Stadium, a notorious pitcher's park, to Turner Field, a neutral park, shouldn't hurt him.

BOY, I'M GLAD HE'S ON OUR TEAM NOW: Lowe had two starts against the Braves last season. In the first start, which came in Atlanta, he was shredded for five runs, three earned, in 4 1/3 innings. His second start was much better; he went 7 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits and one run as the Dodgers won 2-1.

UNLUCKY LOWE: In 9 no-decisions last season, Lowe went 52 1/3 innings and allowed just 19 runs (18 earned). He walked 13 batters and struck out 41 of them.

DURABLE DEREK: Since he became a starter in 2002, Lowe has the ninth-most innings pitched in all of baseball: 1456 IP. Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox has the most in that period (1575 IP).

My Outlook: Lowe says for Braves fans to expect big things from him. All I expect from him is to do his job. Keep the ball on the ground and don't walk anybody. If he does those things, and I think he will, those expectations should be met.

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