Last Call from the Desert…Kyle Lohse, Derek Lowe, Lance Berkman
Wrapping up after the Rangers 3-2 win over the Cubs:
“I don’t think it’s an issue. We’ve had plenty of distractions over the years that haven’t become issues. I think an issue with a player is one thing but if it’s something that deals with the front office, that’s not an issue. We have absolutely no control over that.”
David Murphy on the uncertainty surrounding CEO Nolan Ryan.
The Rangers are close to signing Derek Lowe to a Minor League contract but it is to compete for a spot in the bullpen. He is not a candidate for the rotation. This probably has more to do with the need for a middle reliever who can pitch multiple innings.
Lowe was a closer early in his career for the Red Sox before becoming a starter. He had 81 saves for the Red Sox in 1999-2001 before becoming a starter in 2002. From 2002-11, he made 334 starts in a ten-year period and was 145-114 with a 4.02 ERA.
Last year he was 8-10 with a 5.52 ERA in 21 starts for the Indians, He was released by the Indians on Aug 12 and immediately signed by the Yankees. They put him in the bullpen and he was 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA in 17 relief appearances.
Lance Berkman hit his first home run of the spring on Wednesday. It came off of Cubs left-hander Hisanori Takahashi. Berkman is a switch-hitter and his career numbers have always been better from the left side against right-handed pitching.
He has a career .307 average with a .585 slugging percentage against right-handers and a .260 batting average with a .415 slugging percentage against left-handed pitchers. Manager Ron Washington said Berkman will be used against both.
“The difference between me hitting left-handed and right-handed is consistency,” Berkman said. “When I’m hitting right-handed, I can hit the ball out of the ballpark with one good swing. It’s a matter of doing it over and over.”
Robbie Ross about the possibility of going to the bullpen if he doesn’t win the fifth-starter spot: “Honestly the biggest thing I’m thinking about is just making it in the big leagues. I’m totally fine with being in the bullpen. If it’s as a starter it’s as a starter, but I’m completely fine if I’m in the bullpen.”