Ron Shandler's BaseballHQ had this to say about Lowry in their weekly free e-mail this week:
Lowry's velocity reportedly down... Noah Lowry (LHP, SF) has struggled following last year's breakout. Now reports are coming from San Francisco that Lowry's velocity is down by 4-5 MPH and that the Giants are concerned. As the numbers show, the effect on Lowry's performance has been extreme.
Year IP ERA xERA H% S% Ctl Dom Cmd HR/9
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2005 204 3.79 3.74 30% 74% 3.3 7.6 2.3 0.9
2006 55 4.23 4.91 28% 75% 2.9 3.7 1.3 1.5
Clearly, Lowry's poor performance has not been a matter of bad luck, as his hit and strand rates are precisely in line with last season. In fact, Lowry's current ERA is actually far better than his xERA says he deserves, and the drop in his dominance and rise in his home run rate correspond with the reports of decreased velocity. The cause of the problem is unclear. Lowry strained an oblique muscle in his first start of the season, but Lowry says that he is not experiencing any residual pain from that injury. So, if that is not the problem, there must be something else wrong. On the surface, Lowry's current performance is only slightly off the mark, so owners may have an opportunity to sell before his xERA becomes a reality or before an underlying injury is revealed. On June 16, Lowry allowed five earned runs in three innings against the Seattle Mariners. With Lowry's low dominance, weak command, and high home run rate, the chances for a repeat of this poor performance are high.
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax