Friday, March 8, 2013
Notes: Derek Lowe throws bullpen session
By Ron Matejko
MARYVALE, Ariz. -- Derek Lowe reported for his first day of workouts with the Texas Rangers on Friday and pitched a bullpen session in front of team staff members.
Lowe, who was signed to a minor league deal as a free agent Wednesday, reported no problems and estimated he would need a week before being ready for Cactus League game action.
"I know where I stand, you don’t have a full spring training to ease into it,” Lowe said Friday morning. “But I figured that would be the case. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve got to win a job. This is the first time in 16 years that’s the case. It’s healthy. It’s good to rekindle the flame and earn it.
“It was a real interesting offseason. We heard the same thing from every team, be a non-roster invite and make the team. At this stage of my career, that’s not something that’s attractive. But a situation happened here, they had some injuries and at least I’ll get an opportunity.”
The 6-foot-6 right-hander will compete for one of six open bullpen spots behind closer Joe Nathan. Lowe pitched out of the bullpen for the first time in 11 years when he joined the Yankees last July. In 17 regular-season appearances with New York, Lowe was 1-1 with a 3.01 ERA and used a strong September to earn a postseason roster spot.
“You just can’t walk off the street and be on the team,” manager Ron Washington said. “But because of his track record, he will be given an opportunity. When he has that sinker working, he can get ground balls and he can get some outs.”
Rangers in WBC update: In the opening game of Pool C play Thursday, Nelson Cruz went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored for the Dominican Republic. Elvis Andrus was 1-for-5 for Venezuela. Engel Beltre and his Spain teammates play their opener today. Team USA opens against Mexico tonight at 8 p.m. CT at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The Rangers are scheduled to use seven relievers during today's game, beginning with LHP Jeff Beliveau. Most expected regular-season pitchers and position players did not travel for today's game.
With the lack of regulars on hand, Jeff Baker will play second base. He has shown versatility this spring by playing numerous positions in both the infield and outfield. Baker has also delivered at the plate, hitting safely in five of seven games at a 9-for-16 clip (.563) with three doubles, two RBIs and seven runs scored.
RHP Joe Ortiz did what he has done all spring: throw a scoreless inning. Ortiz pitched another scoreless frame Thursday and hasn't been scored upon in five innings this spring.
OF Jim Adduci delivered a pinch-hit, two-run triple in the ninth inning in Thursday's game, which proved important after the Dodgers scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, resulting in the 11-11 tie.
C Konrad Schmidt's two-run home run Thursday was his first of the spring.
The Rangers have lost just once in the last five games (3-1-1). They are 4-2-1 after opening the season 0-5-1.
Today's game marks the Rangers' fourth straight game against a National League opponent. They are 3-1-1 overall against NL teams this spring.
The Rangers and Brewers will play each other twice this spring, with Milwaukee heading to Surprise Stadium on Tuesday.