The Cleveland Indians opened the 2013 season at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, home of the Blue Jays. Check out a photo gallery from the Tribe's second game of the season there.
On Thursday, March 21, the Cleveland Indians visited the beautiful Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for a Cactus League exhibition game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On Wednesday, March 20, the Cleveland Indians visited the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona for a Cactus League exhibition game.
(GOODYEAR, Ariz.) -- He knew it was coming. When the Atlanta Braves 2011 season ended with one of the biggest collapses in MLB history, Derek Lowe understood his time with the NL-East club was likely over.
Personally it was a disappointing year for the 38-year old right-hander as he wrapped up a 9-17 season with an ERA of 5.05. Even worse was the fact that his club blew a 10-game lead with just 30 games to play in the month of September. In that same month the Braves went 8-18 leading to a spot on the couch when the MLB Playoffs began in October.
Lowe, who is in his 16th big league season now, had two choices: He could regroup and look to improve on his worst major league season ever or let it bother him and affect his future. Lowe chose to try and rebound and it's why he is in camp with the Tribe.
But don't confuse his role with the club. Yes, Lowe is a veteran who has been in the trenches and was a big part of the Boston Red Sox World Series team in 2004, but the Indians are making it quite clear that is not why they traded for him.
"It's always a plus to have a guy like him on your team," manager Manny Acta said. "But we're not bringing him here for leadership, we're bringing him here to help us win."
Lowe understands he will be looked upon for leadership, but also realizes he needs to balance those skills with his own job.
"There is a fine line there," Lowe said. "I have always enjoyed working with younger kids and just talking about the stuff that I have learned. But also with that being said, you're here to do a job."
So leading by example is what Lowe wants to do, but he'll have to correct whatever it was that contributed to his worst season in the big leagues.
"We knew what I was doing last year I just couldn't stop it," Lowe explained. "I felt like no matter where I went this year it was important to fix the stuff I did wrong."
"By no means are you a bad pitcher because you have a bad year and by no means are you a front line ace because you have a good year," Lowe said. "The bottom line is if you're fortunate like I have been to play a long time, you're going to have good years and you're going to have not so good years. You learn from it, just like anybody, you work on the stuff and you try to get better."
Lowe is already a lock for the Indians rotation. He'll be joined by Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Josh Tomlin in that starting five which still needs to find a fifth starter. If the starting rotation is going to continue the success they had in 2011, Lowe is going to have to bounce back just one year after his worst major league season.
"I wanted to go to a team that had a chance to win," Lowe said. "I've been fortunate to play with a lot of teams that had a chance to win and you look at what happened last year where they were in the standings for four months out of the year and so I'm just trying to come in and blend in."
"It doesn't matter how long you've played, you're still a new guy on a team," Lowe said.
He might be new, but the Indians need him to come in and be a leader, especially if it's by example.
- Nick Camino