Derek Lowe hired to reinforce Yankees’ bullpen
Two weeks ago, Derek Lowe thought his season could be over. He was that disgusted with the way he was pitching.
Now, he’s a Yankees reliever.
Lowe signed an agreement with the New York Yankees, 2 weeks after being delegated for assignment by the Indians.
“I was honest with myself,” expounded Lowe. “I announced, ‘I’m not going to go back if I can’t figure out what I must change.’”
A self-professed, career-long “tinkerer,” the 39-year-old Lowe spent his brief time out of baseball working on his delivery in Fort Myers, Fla, getting back to the spot where he felt he could contribute.
When he was released by Cleveland on Fri. he’d been talking to Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Boston, the team he helped win the 2004 World Series championship. The Yankees jumped in without seeing him throw when ace CC Sabathia went on the DL Sat. due to elbow trouble, and the deal was speedily agreed to.
“It occurred in literally 10 minutes,” the 2-time All-Star said.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi wasn’t worried that no one in the organization saw Lowe pitch in Florida after the right-hander had an 8.80 ERA over his last 12 starts for the Indians.
“This is a fellow that’s been good for a significant period of time,” Girardi said.
Lowe was called on Monday night against the Texas Rangers once spot-starter David Phelps exited thanks to a pitch limit.
Right-hander Ryota Igarashi was optioned to Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre to make room on the register for Lowe.
One of 3 pitchers in major league history with at least 160 wins and 80 saves — John Smoltz and Dennis Eckersley are the others — Lowe is confident he’ll have no trouble working out of the bullpen for the 1st time since making one appearance in 2007 for the L.A Dodgers.
The 16-year vet is 174-156 with 85 saves for Cleveland, Atlanta, the Dodgers, Boston and Seattle. He’s made 287 relief appearances. And he threw a no-hitter for Boston in 2002. Online Sportsbook
Lowe started the season 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA, but completed his stint with the Indians in a 2-9 slide. By the end of his time with Cleveland, his slider was coming out like “mashed potatoes.”
“I stopped throwing bullpens for some time because I was so bad,” he claimed.
Lowe is excited to pitch in New York — even if he may not be a fan favorite in the Bronx. He pitched 6 phenomenal innings in Game 7 of the 2004 American League championship series at Yankee Stadium, helping Boston complete a noteworthy comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the series.
“I think playing 8 years in Boston and you got a little of it in L.A, but I’ve always enjoyed this time of year and playing in enormous markets and having every game mean something, and being responsible for what you do,” Lowe said. “I don’t care what my role is here. You pitch when you’re told. But these atmospheres on the East Coast, you cannot compare to anywhere else.”
In the last year of a 4-year, $60 million agreement, Lowe doesn’t look at this as a chance to extend his career beyond this season.