Friday Jan. 16, 2009
ATLANTA (AP) -- Derek Lowe says he's eager to accept the responsibility of returning the Atlanta Braves to the playoffs.
Lowe said today he hopes people expect a lot out of him. The Braves finished fourth in the NL East last year behind the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, the big-spending New York Mets and the Florida Marlins. The Braves' 72-90 record was their poorest since 1990, the year before their run of 14 straight first place finishes began.
Braves general manager Frank Wren was unable to acquire Jake Peavy in a trade or lure A.J. Burnett as a free agent. So he acquired Javier Vazquez from the Chicago White Sox and then signed Japanese all-star Kenshin Kawakami as free agents. Finally he added Lowe, who went 54-48 with a 3.58 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers over the last four years.
As a result, Wren thinks Atlanta has reduced the burden on Jair Jurrjens, who went 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA as a rookie. Jurrjens doesn't turn 22 until later this month.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)