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Derek Lowe, screwed again by sabermetrics

May 20, 2013, 4:48 PM EST

Derek Lowe AP

Texas designated Derek Lowe for assignment after the 40-year-old right-hander allowed 13 runs in 13 innings out of the bullpen.

Just the other day Lowe was talking about how much he disliked sabermetrics, saying:

If you pump my numbers into the system compared to, let’s say, Tanner Scheppers, of course his stuff is going to outscore my stuff, I’m not naive. He’s a young kid who throws 98 mph with a great breaking ball. Listen, I know I don’t pass the test.

But it doesn’t take into consideration the human element of sports. Don’t get me wrong, I think those stats can be beneficial. But I use more of a human element. Where has the guy had success? What cities has he had success? What cities has he failed at? Has he performed well when it matters?

Lowe now has a 5.23 ERA in 343 innings since 2011, “failing” for four different teams during that time. At this point he should be hoping at least one other team out there cares more about “the human element” than those pesky statistics like ERA and runs allowed.

Helluva career, but he looks just about done.

  1. pisano - May 20, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    He did pitch well for the Yankees last year, but apparently when he took those pinstripes off the magic went with them. Maybe he can help someone out down the road, but I do believe his starting days are far behind him, with his sinker, if it’s working right he can help someone in short relief.

  2. wordsar - May 20, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    When I read the original anti-sabermetrics quotes from Lowe I found them ironic because the way I see them, sabermetrics enhance Lowe’s value as a pitcher as compared to traditional measures of worth. His career FIP is .20 lower than his ERA (4.03-3.83), and his 176-157 W-L record looks kinda mediocre when in actuality he was one of the better pitchers in baseball for about ten years. Sabermetrics haven’t brought you down, Derek–the guys with bats have taken care of that.

    • baseballisboring - May 20, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      Good point. His statement also just didn’t make much sense to begin with…I get what he’s saying in the second part of his statement, and honestly, I can see how a guy who’s accomplished what he’s accomplished could feel that way. But…

      “If you pump my numbers into the system compared to, let’s say, Tanner Scheppers, of course his stuff is going to outscore my stuff, I’m not naive. He’s a young kid who throws 98 mph with a great breaking ball.”

      First of all, he says “the system” as if there’s some generic computer program that every pitcher gets put into, like The Shredder on MLB Network or something and that’s how every team makes their decisions…obviously every team has their way of analyzing and doing things.

      Secondly…is he talking about stuff or numbers? “If you pump my NUMBERS into the system compared to, let’s say, Tanner Scheppers, of course his STUFF is going to outscore my STUFF”. Well yes, it is. That’s why your numbers are bad, cause your stuff is bad now. Do we really disregard all that cause you started an All Star Game in 2001?

  3. beefytrout - May 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Was a matter of “when,” not “if.” His buddy Kirkman may be next.

    • youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - May 20, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      I hope Kirkman goes soon. That guy is hot garbage. What the heck was Wash thinking by bringing him out to face Fielder?? Lefty vs lefty is a cute idea, but not if that lefty pitcher is Kirkman an the hitter is even remotely competent. Kirkman has choked every time he’s been asked to pitch.

      • beefytrout - May 20, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        Kirkman seems to be able to stick around because Scheppers (?) and Ross can’t pitch every day.

  4. drewsylvania - May 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Hate it when people dump on this they know nothing about.

    • drewsylvania - May 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      *things

  5. thebigtim2012 - May 20, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    He was the man in Boston. I wish he had walked away more gracefully when he started to decline. Now it’s just sad.

  6. 13arod - May 20, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    the blue jays will get him

  7. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - May 20, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    “Where has the guy had success? What cities has he had success? What cities has he failed at? Has he performed well when it matters?”

    All of these are things that sabermetrics attempts to quantify.

    • eightyraw - May 20, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      No. Sabremetrics have already proven that such splits are full of too much noise to have any predictive worth.

  8. randygnyc - May 20, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    “If you pump my numbers into the system compared to, let’s say, Tanner Scheppers, of course his stuff is going to outscore my stuff, I’m not naive. He’s a young kid who throws 98 mph with a great breaking ball. Listen, I know I don’t pass the test.”

    I know Derek. His 98 mph fastball and great breaking ball have no place in baseball. 77 mph sinkers are where it’s at. And the youngins’ can’t be trusted with the ball. Too much to learn.

  9. hushbrother - May 21, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Derek will never have to pay for anything in Boston, that’s for sure.

  10. straightouttavtown - May 21, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    I think Lowe can still pitch in a friendlier park and preferably in the NL, even as a starter. If retreads as bad as Jason Marquis and Jeremy Guthrie, both of whom got off to atrocious starts last season and were released, are still starting, Lowe can still outpitch them with his sinker. Put Lowe in that park in San Diego and I guarantee you he would outpitch Marquis. Heck, Ramon Ortiz, Freddy Garcia, Scott Kazmir, Jon Garland, and John Lackey are all in major league rotations right now, so why write off Lowe? Like Oswalt last year, he picked the wrong team to join. You need plus stuff to succeed in Arlington or you would get knocked around with gopherballs problem (he allowed 3 homers in 13 innings). But there are a lot of parks in the MLB that Lowe could have a role in. Too many of these young guys just “throw” instead of mastering the art of pitching (that’s what he’s articulating about scouts’ obsession with “stuff” rather than ERA). He’s durable. He’s experienced. He’s a good clubhouse presence. It’s actually pretty disappointing that the Rangers never gave him a chance to start when guys got hurt and instead went with unproven scrubs or journeymen in the minors. It was only 13 innings and a pretty small sample size.

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