Out With the New and In With the Old?

To put it simply, I am perplexed by the Rangers recent roster moves. The Texas Rangers on Wednesday sent Right-Handed reliever Pedro Strop down to Triple-A Round Rock, while at the same time bringing up RHP Mark Lowe from the Express.

Pedro Strop appeared in a game Tuesday night for the Rangers and did not have a good outing. Strop allowed four hits and three runs in one inning of work. Strop was put in a clutch situation with a small lead and lost the game. Was this deserving of a trip down to the minors?

Below are Pedro Strop‘s total numbers from this season so far-

Tm ERA G IP H R ER BB SO WP WHIP
TEX 3.72 11 9.2 7 4 4 7 9 2 1.448

and here are the stats for Mark Lowe with the Rangers this season-

Tm ERA G IP H R ER HR BB SO WP WHIP
TEX 13.50 4 2.2 7 4 4 0 1 1 0 3.000

Judging the two players simply on the damage they have allowed, Lowe has done considerably worse than Strop. In 2.2 innings Lowe allowed 4 runs and 7 hits, the same amount of damage that Pedro has allowed in 9.2 innings, a seven inning difference with the same result.The Rangers gave us this information in their press release today regarding Lowe’s performance with the Round Rock Express-

Lowe is 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA (9.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R-ER, 4 BB, 13 SO) in 6 relief appearances with the Express, holding the opposition to a .200 batting average. He has worked 4.1 scoreless innings in his last 3 outings, allowing one hit with 4 strikeouts in 2.0 innings in his last outing on Monday at Iowa.

Wow…what a relief! Lowe crushed the minor leagues, our bullpen issues are solved! /Sarcasm. In all seriousness he has been throwing well in Round Rock, but with a bullpen featuring the likes of Dave Bush and Brett Tomko, there were other options to bring him up.

Pedro was put in a situation few young pitchers could have survived. In a close game with a Mariners team who has been hitting the ball well, Pedro got beat up. Let’s forget the good outings before that, only one run allowed in the other 8.2 innings pitched.

The absence of Neftali Feliz has had a negative effect on everyone in the bullpen. Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver, both who are age 40+, have given up critical hits in clutch situations. I just don’t buy them sending Strop down after a bad outing. Ron Washington was quoted as saying the game is just too quick for Pedro right now.

I understand our sample size is small with both pitchers, and Lowe is the more veteran player. This certainly wasn’t a decision made only by Wash, but in the past he has favored the more experienced player. We can only assume this is what happened here.

If the Rangers intentions were to boost the young pitcher’s confidence by giving him a chance to slow things down, the plan may backfire.  The right move to build his confidence would have been to stick with him, show him that everyone has bad outings and he doesn’t need to be afraid of losing his job. I’ll be interested to see how his next call-up works out, will he have any confidence in knowing after a bad outing he could go down again? Will this have an effect on Cody Eppley? Eppley is another young arm brought up from Round Rock, in his first trip to the majors is he going to be afraid of losing his job as well?

The upside for a player like Pedro Strop is so high, let’s hope this doesn’t discourage him. We will all have to wait and see what happens from here.

-Jonathan

Topics: Arthur Rhodes, Brett Tomko, Darren Oliver, Dave Bush, Mark Lowe, Neftali Feliz, Pedro Strop, Ron Washington, Round Rock Express, Texas Rangers

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  • Kris

    You forget most of the outings that led to his small ERA were in mop up jobs, with no pressure involved. In fact he has been involved in only one save situation, which he blew. Not only did he blow it, he looked like a deer in headlights. The wild pitch he threw to advance the runner to third wasn’t even close (it would have flown behaind a lefty). He later panicked on a routine sac bunt which he had plenty of time to field and calmly make a throw to first. Furthermore you overlook one thing on Strop’s stat line that is unforgivable for a reliever, 7 walks vs only one with Lowe. Getting hit is understandable for a reliever, losing your cool is not. Stick the bun back in the oven, its not done.

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