Derek Lowe willing to pitch out of the bullpen


Via Nick Cafardo: Right-hander Derek Lowe is willing to pitch out of the bullpen after spending the winter looking for a starting job. “I would love to be a starter, of course, but I understand the reality of having to work out of the bullpen,” he said, while also indicating a willingness to sign for relative peanuts. “I’ve made my money.”

Lowe, 39, pitched to a 3.04 ERA (3.77 FIP) with a 54.5% ground ball rate in 23.2 relief innings for New York after being plucked off the scrap heap in August. I’ve written several times this offseason that I’d like to see the Yankees bring him back on a low-risk (i.e. minor league) deal to serve as the swingman. That would send the loser of the Ivan Nova-David Phelps fifth starter battle to the Triple-A rotation, where they would wait for the inevitable injury. Lowe is no savior, but he would be a nice little piece of pitching depth.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Lowe as the longman seems like the best idea, couldn’t agree more.

    • Barry's Gift Basket says:

      I’m on board for this too, send the “loser” of Nova/Phelps to AAA, so he can start inmediately if (when) needed.

  2. Robinson Tilapia says:

    MiLB deal. Sure.

  3. Govin says:

    But is he willing ti sign a minor league contract

  4. LK says:

    Doesn’t really seem to any reason not to do this as long as he’s not demanding a major league deal.

  5. trr says:

    Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, Nuno
    Fits right in!
    So does Derek Lowe ( in a limited capacity) I’m OK with this

  6. jjyank says:

    Like pretty much everyone else is saying, if he’ll take a minor league deal, then go for it. Might be nice for the loser of the Phelps/Nova Battle Royale to stay fully stretched out in AAA instead of going to the pen.

  7. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    Is there room for him and our newest ex-Mariner in the pen with Phelps/Nova loser in AAA? If so I love that idea…as long as he’s cheap.

  8. mt says:

    I think it depends on how competition goes – if both Nova and Phelps pitch OK I really see the longman role given to the loser of competition as a consolation prize. I don’t see them sending either down unless one is truly awful in spring training. I know they like Phelps as longman and even though they’d prefer Nova start they may still want him around for long relief. They may instead sign Lowe for the Ramon Ortiz role of last year – AA starter who is a veteran – he may have an opt-out in his minor league contract in June or so, for example, but that’s OK.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Very possible. I agree Lowe could be Ortiz, but I have a feeling Lowe in 2013 could be a better MLB contributor somewhere than Ortiz would have ever been last year.

      If Nova wins the 5th starter battle, I don’t particularly have an issue with Phelps…ie pitching out of the bullpen, as I think “swingman” is a potential long-term role for him no matter what. I’d rather see Nova start in AAA if he loses the battle, as consistency just is such a bigger issue with him.

      This is a battle where I’d be happy either way with the winner.

  9. KennyH123 says:

    Not understanding your infatuation with Derek Lowe. He’s thrown 858 innings since 2009, and given up 1008 hits. That’s, um, beyond horrendous. And he’s 39 years old, and not exactly trending upwards. Yanks have about 18 better candidates in house right now, and there’s dozens more around that could be had for a song to do a better job.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      “Yanks have about 18 better candidates in house right now”

      Name them.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

      he has a whip of 1.34 over that time, which is, in fact, not horrendous much less beyond. there may be 18 better candidates, except many of them need to continue developing so they don’t spend their time with NY as mop up men but actual starters and relievers.

      • Manny's BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte's Fibula) says:

        Lowe would be ideal as long man/6th starter since it would allow Phelps or Nova to continue developing their repertoire as a started while keeping them stretched out.

        Plus you could do whatever you want with Lowe, ride the hot hand, etc without any concern about abusing him or blowing out his arm.

        • mt says:

          I just don’t see them sending Nova down to AAA as a hedge against one of 5 starters getting hurt (or Phelps/Hughes being ineffective; don’t see CC/HIROK, or Andy losing their spot even if struggling). The only scenario I see where they send Nova down is if he is horrendous in spring training. I just remember when they sent him down when Hughes came back in 2011 and he took it really hard – he pitched much better when he returned but I would think there would be a problem if theonly reason he is being sent to AA is for injury hedge in favor of someone like Derk lowe being swingman. Just a feeling.

          Yanks probably think they have Adam Warren available if they need to have someone replace a hurt/ineffective starter and then they can choose to stretch Nova out at that time to replace Warren.

          It would be nice if they had one veteran retread at AAA in case something happens.

          More likely they send Phelps down if he loses although it is also more likely they will want Phelps to be the swing man since he sort of did that last year.

          • Herby says:

            I particularly like Phelps, but I don’t really see him as effective out of the BP. I think he’s got more of a starter mentality, and tends to give up too much when he first enters a game as a reliever.

    • Govin says:

      Bummer, I was looking forward to reading Kenny’s list. lesson learned, don’t state something as a fact unless you can prove it.

  10. Dennis says:

    But isnt the loser of Nova/Phelps still better than Lowe at this point in his career?

  11. lou in the bronx says:

    Might as well have a 2004 redsox reunion on the 2013 yanks. Drag manny out of the DR and pump him full of roids for another go around!

  12. paulc says:

    man i would love this signing just for the fact of nova or phelps being number 1 at aaa and getting innings in instead of sitting in bp…

  13. soxhata says:

    Phelps did an excellent job as swingman last year.We are old enough in the pitching dept{as well as other spots].If we need a bp pitcher,than by all means sign Lowe.I am rooting for Wang to pitch in Scranton though,just for shits and giggles.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.