At 37 years old, Derek Lowe is certainly past his prime and well on his way to the end of his big league career.
With 15 seasons and a 158-129 record under his belt, Lowe has been a serviceable starting pitcher who has made a living off an excellent, ground out-inducing sinker ball.
From a fantasy perspective, Lowe had failed to join the ranks of other marquee pitchers due to his pedestrian strikeout numbers. Although he has posted nine straight seasons of double digit wins, his 5.9 career strikeout per nine innings average does not afford fantasy owners the strikeout production required for a successful starting rotation.
As he approaches the twilight of his career, in appears that Lowe’s lack of strikeout production may be changing.
As Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci points out in his latest column, Lowe’s adoption of a slider increased is ks/per nine inning ratio to 8.7 over the final month of the 2010 season. The new slider continued to pay dividends in 2011, as Lowe struck out six batters over five shutout innings to earn his first win on Opening Day.
For owners looking to add depth to their roster, Lowe is an excellent waiver wire pick up in all formats. He is currently available in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues; however, I anticipate that his ownership rate will increase when owners discover his new found strikeout prowess.
This article was originally published on www.kramericasports.com, the home of free fantasy baseball news, rankings and advice.