A Lowe Blow: That Sinking Feeling

Every fifth day, I mark my calendar with a “L”. You see, why bother watching the game when you know what the worst starting pitcher will give you? Brian Anderson has a tidy 7.71 ERA and a new spot in the bullpen, therefore eliminating him from the “worst starting pitcher” sweepstakes. That leaves someone with a 6.84 ERA with the crown of thorns. How ironic that someone with the highest starting pitcher ERA has a last name of Lowe.

I have been an advocate of this ever since the end of 2002. Trade Derek Lowe (career). This is a man with exactly three seasons of great pitching, at ages 26, 27, and 29. He has only two MLB seasons with H/9’s registering under 7, which were in 1999 and 2002. (H/9 is the average number of hits you give up over 9 innings.) The only reason why Derek Lowe had such a good season closing for us in 2000 even though his H/9 was above 7 is because his K/9 skyrocketed from 6.59 in 1999 to 7.78.

This is someone who, historically, has struggled from one season to the next and who has been too emotional to count on. Going from a lousy starter to a great reliever to a solid closer to an okay reliever to a great starter to an okay starter to a horrible starter? What is this? Do we need to put him in the bullpen one year, have him close the next, start him the next year, then relieve him again?

It’s time for the Red Sox and Derek Lowe to move on.

But who could we acquire, you ask? There are several options, two of which I find enticing. Freddy Garcia and Al Leiter.

Freddy Garcia is 28, is making good money this year and is due to make more when he hits free agency. The Mariners have gone on record saying they will not even pursue resigning him, so they should be looking to trade him. Perhaps Lowe needs a return to his original team to find his roots? Garcia seems to have reclaimed the dominance that made him a big pitcher in the past and is certainly a much better pitcher overall than Lowe has. Garcia has been a little sketchy in the past, but not as bad as Lowe, consistent for the most part.

Another team looking to get younger and faster is the Mets. Peter Gammons told a friend of Boston Dirt Dogs that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Leiter pitching in Boston for the last three months of the year.

Al Leiter just came off the DL for the Mets, and Shari over at Take the “7” Train writes about his return last night. Al Leiter (career) is a lefty (and we all know how I feel about lefty starting pitchers for the Boston Red Sox) and got a late start on his career, not becoming a full-time starter until he was 28, in 1994. For getting started so late, he’s made a good career for himself, and is currently 146-114 with a career 3.66 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He could really help Boston in its current rotation woes.

Plus, it would be easier to get Leiter from the Mets than the Mariners because the Mets are trying to overturn their roster more, and also Leiter is 38 while Garcia is 28.

Either way, it’s high time to get a new starter. Lowe is supposed to be the #3 starter, but is instead acting like the worst #5. Therefore, so far we have a rotation of:

Ace: Curt Schilling

Solid #2: Pedro Martinez

Great #3: Tim Wakefield

Below average #4: Bronson Arroyo (who would be an above average #5)

Should-be-in-bullpen #5: Derek Lowe

How would this look, ladies and gentlemen?

Ace: Curt Schilling

Solid #2: Pedro Martinez

Great #3: Tim Wakefield

Phenomenal #4: Al Leiter

Above Average #5: Bronson Arroyo