In his couple of outings with the Texas Rangers since signing with the team on March 6, veteran pitcher Derek Lowe has looked good. But even with the No. 5 spot in the Rangers' starting rotation up for grabs — at least until Colby Lewis gets healthy — Rangers manager Ron Washington let it be known that Lowe isn't a candidate for the rotation.
"He is not a candidate for the rotation," Washington told ESPN Dallas. "We're just trying to build him up."
Lowe got the start on Monday, but was originally scheduled to throw in relief before Yu Darvish was scratched with neck stiffness. He is scheduled to get the start again on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels. So far this spring, Lowe has thrown five innings, giving up five hits and no runs.
Lowe began last season in Cleveland as a starter and struggled before being dealt to the New York Yankees, where he came out of the bullpen and pitched much better. At 39 years old, Lowe might be at the point in his career where he's better suited as a reliever, and he seems fine with the suggestion that he has no shot of being a starter for the Rangers.
Lowe has had a long, distinguished career with several teams — most notably the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. In his 16 seasons, he's led the league in wins once, starts four times and saves in 2000, when he was the Red Sox's closer.
"I said all along when I talked to [Rangers GM] Jon Daniels, I just want an opportunity to compete for any job. There was never any talk of anything," Lowe said. "I'm here to scratch and claw for any role that is possible whether that is five innings or one inning.”