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March 08, 2013

Rangers morning update: Derek Lowe knows he must earn roster spot

Right-hander Derek Lowe was on the back fields at 8:15 Friday morning to long-toss and throw a bullpen to kick-start his first day in Rangers camp.

Lowe signed a minor-league deal Wednesday night. He's a veteran, a workhorse for much of his career, and a former All-Star closer. But he knows that means nothing right now.

"You've got to win a job," he said. "This is the first time in 16 years I've had to do that."

Lowe said that he has been long-tossing while awaiting a job opportunity, but his bullpen Friday was only his third of the string. He said that it's normal for him to go heavy on the long-tossing and lighter on the bullpens to get his arm ready.

Manager Ron Washington said that Lowe will throw live batting practice Sunday.

"This is the situation," Lowe said. "you don't have the luxury of three or four weeks to ease into it."

Lowe said that nothing about his pitching is new. He still throws sinkers and curveballs. But he openly admits that as a 39-year-old that he less margin for error. He found that out last season while starting in Cleveland. He opened the season 8-1 but was released in August after his pitches got flat and lost their deception.

He was out of work for 10 days before joining the Yankees and posting a 3.04 ERA in 17 appearances. His first appearance was Aug. 13, when he tossed four scoreless innings in an 8-2 victory over the Rangers.

The weather isn't as bad as the ace local weathermen predicted, but more rain is said to be on the way. The Rangers will likely bus to Maryvale to play the Brewers and could possible start their game before rain moves back into the area. Lance Berkman is in the lineup despite the threat of wet conditions.

Speaking of Berkman, an interesting scene unfolded when he asked a few of the beat writers Friday morning what is going on with CEO Nolan Ryan. Berkman said that the players were wondering how things reached this point. So, it's a topic of conversation among the players, though they recognize that business will go on no matter what Ryan decides.

-- Jeff Wilson



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