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Monday, May 17, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Derek Lowe

The 36-year old RHP was a highly sought-after free agent last year, and wound up getting a four-year, $60 million contract. The Mets hesitated on giving an aging veteran such as Lowe a four-year contract, and if last year was an indication (which I do agree with), the Mets made the right decision. Although he went 15-10 in 34 starts last year, he gave up 232 hits in 194 innings and had a .301 batting average against. He had a 4.67 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, while also seeing his GB rate decrease to 66% (75% in 2007). For his career against the Mets, he has started seven times, and has 7.61 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP. He started five of those games last year with the Braves, and had a 6.94 ERA and 1.67 WHIP, with 10 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings.

The 6’6” Lowe throws from a ¾ to low ¾ arm slot, and features a sinking 87-88 mph and a late-breaking slider (80 mph). He throws his fastball 75% of the time, his slider 15% of the time, and will throw an 84 mph change-up a few times a game. He rarely throws inside/backs hitters off the plate. He was never a strike out pitcher, but last year his rates decreased even further (5.1 K/9), and his walk rate increased from 1.9 W/9 to 2.9. As noted earlier, Lowe is a groundball pitcher but he started to leave the ball up in the zone more last year, and the hitters have taken advantage.

This year, he has made eight starts and is 5-3, with a 5.73 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 44 innings (5.5 per start). His strikeout rate is the same as last year (5.1 K/9), but has seen an increase in walks (4.3 W/9), the highest in his 14-year career. He has allowed 4+ runs in four of his eight starts this year, and has only pitched six innings three times this year.

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