Lowe to start two openers
When the Braves gave Derek Lowe a four-year, $60 million contract in January, it was all but assumed that they’d also give him their Opening Day start. Courtesy of the schedule, they’ve provided him a bonus by also scheduling him to start their home opener on April 10 at Turner Field.
Lowe will start next Sunday’s game in Philadelphia amid some fans who might still be hungover from World Series parties. Fortunately for their health, these same fans weren’t subjected to do any more celebrating in early February. From what I understand only one Pennsylvania team celebrates Super Bowl victories.
And we return to Lowe, who will make two starts before Kenshin Kawakami makes his season debut on April 11 at Turner Field. With two scheduled offdays during the first week, the Braves have the opportunity to start their ace in two of their first four games.
Of course Lowe has looked more like an ace in October than he has during the season’s first week. He’s 0-3 with an 8.44 ERA in his three career Opening Day starts. But the veteran sinkerballer is also 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in the three career starts he’s made at the homer haven known as Citizens Bank Park.
Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to pitch the second game agaisnt the Phillies and Javier Vazquez will pitch the April 8 series finale. The order of these two right-handers primarily had to do with where Vazquez fit in the exhibition-season rotation after he returned from the World Baseball Classic.
Kotchman and Anderson present: There won’t be any Angels in the outfield today or tomorrow. But if the rain cooperates, the Braves will have two former ones in their lineup this afternoon against the Tigers.
Garret Anderson, who has been sidelined since March 6 with a strained right calf, will serve as the designated hitter today and again during Monday’s game against the Red Sox. The Braves may try to get him some time in left field on Tuesday.
Anderson is obviously way behind schedule and he may make up for lost time by participating in a Minor League game, where he could get as many at-bats as he’d like.
Casey Kotchman is back in the lineup today for the first time since March 18. The first baseman battled the flu and then possibly got a case of food poisoning when he started feeling better on Thursday.
Kelly Johnson 2B
Yunel Escobar SS
Garret Anderson DH
Jeff Francoeur RF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Omar Infante 3B
Jordan Schafer LF
David Ross C
Josh Anderson CF