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The Indians announced on Wednesday that they were designating starter Derek Lowe for assignment for the purposes of clearing a roster spot for call-up Corey Kubler. The 39-year-old Lowe was one of the surprise stories of the early months of 2012, when he got off to a 6-2 record with a 2.15 ERA through nine starts. However, he was shelled to the tune of an 8.80 ERA over his last 12 starts, allowing seven or more earned runs on five occasions (including on Tuesday night, when he lasted just 2 1/3 innings).
A two-time All-Star with the Red Sox (once as a closer, once as a starter) early in his career, Lowe -- who won the clinching game of each of the three playoff rounds for the Red Sox en route to the franchise's 2004 World Series -- owns a career 174-156 record and 4.01 ERA. But after nine straight years of 12 or more wins when he was moved from the bullpen to the Red Sox rotation permanently for the 2002 season, he has struggled to a 17-27 record and 5.24 ERA with the Braves and Indians in the last two seasons.
"You have a standard of what I've pitched like and this, this is not what you're used to doing. But, it's reality," Lowe told reporters after his most recent start. "You can't sugarcoat it, and you can't sit here and say you've been pitching good and got a few bad breaks, because that'd just be a lie. That's where we are."
Initally, this sounds awesome. Why not bring back Lowe, who is one of the four active players from the 2004 squad (Ortiz, Damon, & Arroyo are the other three), and maybe the atmosphere can get him back into the groove he was in earlier this season. Hell, Larry Lucchino can write the press release and send it to season ticket holders calling Lowe one of our heroes from 2004! Everyone wins!
Yeah it's a long shot, as Lowe's implosion over the past couple of months has been U G L Y. But after watching Aaron Cook implode again last night, why not take the chance? If Lowe continues to struggle after a couple starts, just let him go and then bring up Nelson Figueroa. It's not that much of a risk to take.
Rest of the Links: Globe: Tigers top Red Sox | Breslow already chipping in for Red Sox | Herald: Blame falls on Lucchino | Better late than never, Breslow answers when called | Word is, time to get series | CSNNE: Cooked | Bullpen ready for another overhaul | Indians designate Lowe for assignment | WEEI: A catching conundrum | Bobby V: Keep winning series and well be just fine |