Left-hander Zac Lowther thinks he's ready to help Orioles - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Left-hander Zac Lowther thinks he’s ready to help Orioles

For the first time, Zac Lowther entered spring training on the Orioles’ 40-man roster, and manager Brandon Hyde has promised to give him a long look.

“I think going into the spring, it’s the same thing every year, get ready for the season,” Lowther said on a video conference call.

“Hearing him say that, it’s nice coming here, first-year, 40-man guy, trying to make the team any way possible, but hearing the manager say that, it’s nice, it’s a compliment.

“I’ve still got to build up to my innings as a starter. Whether I get into games or whether I’m in back fields, I know they always have eyes on me. Just to be able to go out there and get my work in is still really important. Making the team is either going to happen or it’s not going to happen. I’ve just got to stick to the route.”

Lowther, who was a late addition to the team’s alternate site at Bowie during last summer’s pandemic-altering season, would have pitched in Triple-A in 2020 had there been a minor league season.

In 2019, Lowther was 13-7 with a 2.55 ERA. The 24 year-old left-hander thinks the major leagues aren’t far away.

“I feel like I’m there,” Lowther said. “The only thing that’s stopping me right now is not being on the roster, just being able to go out there and compete with those guys and practice with them every day.

“The environment that these guys have made for me … In our group, I’ve got John Means. I’ve got Shawn Armstrong. Those guys create the environment of the major league status. Feeling like I fit in there has helped my mindset in that way.”

Lowther was the Orioles’ second-round draft choice in 2017. His time off since last season has been full for his family in suburban Cleveland.

ADVERTISEMENT

“My offseason was eventful,” Lowther said. “We bought a house. We had a kid. We were very busy.”

The 2020 season presented challenges.

“On the baseball side of it, we tried to replicate some games back home in Cleveland during the summer, as much as you could, try to get innings in,” he said. “As soon as we got to the alternate site, we wanted to work on a lot of my offspeed pitches and being in the zone more.”

Lowther said he used a biomechanics tool to refine his approach.

“I was able to pinpoint some stuff that I lacked and being able to take those deficiencies out of my delivery, it helped me get more out of my body with doing less,” he said. “It’s just going to help the body in the long run, and I was really happy that I could make those changes.”

Lowther believes the time spent with fewer players was beneficial.

“I definitely think that the small instructional groups that we have to be at when we’re at an alternate site, it helps no matter what,” he said. “You’ve got high-level coaches there with high-level players. With such a small group, it’s very individualized with the work that you’re doing. You’re able to hone in on some things that the game’s not going to let you do, day-to-day, so that when you have that streamlined practice, these coaches know the direction that I want to go, and they’re going to help me get there, and that’s really the only goal at the time.”

The alternate sites will be used in 2021, at least for the first month of the Triple-A season, which has been delayed. Teams will be restricted to 28 players. Taxi squads also will return for road trips, with a five-player maximum.

Lowther, who pitched 148 innings for the Baysox in 2019, will have his workload monitored.

“I think this buildup in this spring training, and if I am at the alternate site, that’s definitely going to help ease the load going into the season,” Lowther said.

“Without having a season last year, it was tough and they wanted to make sure everyone’s arm is going to be OK, but throughout my career, I’ve been the workhorse with innings.

“I’ll throw as many as you need me to and throughout the years I’ve been getting better at going deeper in the games, so I think that the jump from the limited innings last year to this year will be pretty fine with me. I trained my body to handle 150 innings before. Being able to jump from nothing to something, I think my body can handle it pretty well.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    March 5, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    I’d rather see Lowther & just about any youngen throwing besides Matt Harvey, especially after today…go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      March 5, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      I know it’s only spring training and no reason to panic yet but when LeBlanc has the only good start…….I did say it’s not time to panic yet, right?

    • CalsPals

      March 6, 2021 at 6:30 am

      Yep, not time to ppppanic yet…lol…go O’s…

  2. B.C. Bird

    March 6, 2021 at 9:08 am

    I’ve seen this movie before
    keep the faith

  3. Tileman

    March 6, 2021 at 9:36 am

    The most disappointing thing to me about spring training is when they break camp. They always say that they’re going to bring the best guys North. A young stud has a great Spring and he’s not on the squad. I understand the “Seattle” mind set that all teams use but it’s disheartening. I’m eliminating CD from this list as he’s an outlier issue.
    Come on O’s let see some young pitchers up here this year!!

  4. mmcmillan1123

    March 6, 2021 at 9:42 am

    I hope Lowther can step into the rotation sometime this year. Although it would be nice to see Harvey have a bounce back year, I kinda hope he doesn’t. Let’s see what these young pitchers have through trial by fire. I like the idea of a six man rotation. We can give more of the youngsters pitching opportunities and lessen the workload on them and give them more time to recover from a bad start.

  5. Baltimore Castaway

    March 6, 2021 at 10:08 am

    Lowther will turn out to be one of the pleasant surprises this Spring for the Orioles. Doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he is unafraid of competing and powering through.

    Remember folks, this is still a year of development…

You must be logged in to post a comment Login or Register Here

Leave a Reply

To Top