Two weeks ago, Derek Lowe thought his season might be over. He was that offended with how he was pitching.
Now, he is a Yankees reliever.
Lowe confirmed a deal with the Yankees, 2 weeks after being designated for assignment by the Indians.
“I was honest with myself,” expounded Lowe. “I said, ‘I’m not going to go back if I can’t work 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 place where he felt that he could contribute. Betting lines
When he was released by Cleveland on Fri. he had been speaking 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 Saturday due to elbow trouble, and the deal was quickly agreed to.
“It happened in literally 10 minutes,” the 2-time All-Star said.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi wasn’t concerned 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 Cleveland Indians.
“This is a guy that has been good for a serious period of time,” Girardi said.
Lowe was called on Monday night against the 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 way on the roster for Lowe.
One of 3 pitchers in big 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 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.
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 a while because I was so bad,” he revealed.
Lowe is eager to pitch in N.Y — even if he will not be a fan favorite in the Bronx. He pitched 6 exceptional innings in Game 7 of the 2004 AL 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 were given a little of it in L.A, but I’ve always enjoyed this time of the year and playing in big markets and having each game mean something, and being accountable for what you do,” Lowe said. “I don’t care what my role is here. You pitch when you are told. But these atmospheres on the East Coast, you cannot compare to anywhere else.”
In the final year of a 4-year, $60 million agreement, Lowe doesn’t look at this as a chance to extend his career past this season.