Sometimes a good old fashioned offseason workout program is all it takes for an athlete to declare himself "better that I've ever felt." Such is the case with Derek Lowe.
So far, it must be working. He's averaging nearly 14 PPG and shooting 39% from 3. Oops.... sorry.... wrong Derek Lowe (or Derrick Low)!
The Dodgers version of Derek Lowe is entering the last year of 4-year contract, signed fresh off his dominating postseason performance with the Red Sox in 2004. His numbers the last 3 years certainly haven't been too shabby. He won 12 games in '05, 16 games in '06, and back to 12 in '07. His ERA has been under 4.00 each season. His strikeout numbers are ok, but he's more of a ground ball specialist. If batter's are pounding the ball into the ground, then it'll be a good day for him.
What has not been encouraging is his lack of consistency. Us Dodger fans will have a hard time forgetting the month of July when he picked up a whopping zero wins. To his defense, it's not like the offense did a whole heck of a lot to help him out with this. But, no wins for 9 straight starts is not good for a guy that is the #2 starter.
For a sinker-ball pitcher, getting command of your delivery is key. If that sucker is flat, then it's batting practice. But, when it's floating like a butterfly (and stinging like a bee!), then it'll be a good day. I remember Derek Jeter once saying that Lowe is the toughest guy for him to face, so that shows what kind of stuff he has.
With a solid yet often times uncertain rotation, the Dodgers need him to anchor the staff and get quality wins if they want to be playing deep into October.