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The Highs of Lowe
2005-02-17 09:00
by Jon Weisman

Had to get that headline out of the way. ... Anyway, two new pieces give thumbs up to the Dodgers' acquisition of Derek Lowe.

One, by the talented Fourth Outfielder you love seeing in the lineup, Tom Meagher, comes at the end of an exhaustive analysis for The Hardball Times of Dodger Stadium park effects. Remember when they used to call these Gleeman-length pieces? I think the torch has been passed.

Meagher also writes that the addition of new seats along the Dodger Stadium foul lines is not likely to have much of an effect on its pitchers' park status:

Using my normalization model, I found that Dodger Stadium would have a park factor of about .92 if there were no foul outs recorded whatsoever. That<92>s clearly a figure in need of salt, as I imagine having no foul ground would impact the pitcher-batter confrontation in other ways. What that really measures is what things would look like if every foul ball was dropped.

The second article, by freelance writer Phil Allard (thanks to Baseball Musings for posting it), chronicles how Lowe is a pitcher of extremes - most of the time, good extremes:

Lowe has spent the bulk of his time being a 2.65 ERA pitcher <97> which is tremendous and worthy of the Cy Young award consideration. He has done this in a superior offensive league with the DH, and he has often done it without a good infield defense.

Now Lowe is going to a pitcher<92>s park, with a shortstop (Cesar Izturis) that has a favorable UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating), along with a second sacker (Jeff Kent) that is slightly above average in UZR according to TangoTiger<92>s weighted analysis. That is a sweet recipe for Lowe. Pencil him in for 21-7 this year, with a 3.06 ERA, and I think I am being conservative.

In a sense, coming to the Dodgers will reduce the chances of Bad Lowe appearing. That's the theory, anyway.

And now, for some gossip ... there's this.

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