Noah Lowry's recent bout with wildness has had people wondering whether the 27 year old lefty had gone Rick Ankiel, or if he possibly had a serious elbow issue. The Giants are hoping it's neither, but they are shutting him down for a few weeks to hopefully get a grasp on some elbow tendinitis issues that have been bothering him. Lowry had to cut short his 2007 season by almost a month due to elbow stiffness and Bruce Bochy is wondering if he's fully recovered yet. Anytime there are on going elbow problems, you can't help but thinking of the worst case scenario which is the ligament transplant operation that all pitchers fear, Tommy John Surgery. I'm not saying that I think Lowry will eventually need the surgery, but if he comes back in a few weeks and is still having issues, the question may be raised. Going into the off-season, Lowry was talked about as being the most likely trading chip for the Giants in their search for offense, but other GM's had their questions about his health an effectiveness. Lowry had a good, winning year in '07, but walked as many batters as he struck out (87/87) which had his WHIP up at 1.55. His overall strikeout numbers have gone way down over the last 3 seasons as well, from 177 in 204 innings in '05 down to 87 in 160 innings last season. He hasn't put together a healthy season since 2005. Again, not saying that I think Lowry is hurt to the point where he'll need to go under the knife, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me.
The Chicago White Sox have had scouts at Giants games for days when Jonathon Sanchez and Noah Lowry have pitched, and it's said that they are higher on Sanchez than they are Lowry, even before Lowry's breakdown this spring. I'd hate to see the Giants part with Sanchez for a one year rental in Joe Crede, especially now that Lowry's immediate future is a little unclear. If Lowry isn't able to start the year in the Giants' rotation, it would likely open the door for either Jonathon Sanchez or Pat Misch. The Giants would love to see Sanchez step up and claim the spot, but he has done nothing to prove he deserves it so far this spring. He's given up 6 runs and walked 4 in only 3 innings so far this spring. Misch, on the other hand, has thrown very well this spring as he's only given up 1 hit with 3 strikeouts through 3 innings. If the season started right now, they'd have to give the open spot to Misch, based on how the spring has gone. Another possibility would be to go out and grab one of the remaining veteran, free agent starting pitchers. Eric Milton and Kyle Lohse are two guys still looking for work, and if the Lowry is going to miss significant time, the Giants may want another vet on hand to help out in the rotation.
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