|The Long Road Back to the Majors|
After Adam Loewen's lone rehab appearance in Bowie, ITW caught up with the big lefty who talked about the rehab plan and what he expects to get out of his assignment. The Baysox pitching coach Mike Griffin also talked his role in Loewen's rehab, his two-inning outing, and how Loewen has influenced the younger players in just a couple days of work in Bowie.
Adam Loewen, who has pitched in10 games since the beginning of the 2007 season, has made six successful appearances in high-A and double-A and is nearing the completion of this stage in his rehab.
It has now been established that the plan is for Loewen to come out of the bullpen for the rest of the year, and has made five one-inning appearances and one two-inning showing on an every-other day schedule. In this time, he has showed a clear improvement in control since his last Major League start in Seattle two months ago on April 24. Loewen has walked just one batter in his 7 innings and has gotten back to inducing grounders (2.25:1 groundout to air-out ratio).
"I was throwing strikes, but my location, the way I was throwing my first couple outings was a lot better then, but it comes and goes, and you have to learn to adjust when you don't have it," Loewen said after his two-inning appearance on June 18. "I thought I made a pretty good adjustment today."
Baysox pitching coach Mike Griffin also liked what he saw from Loewen.
"He had good stuff tonight," Griffin told ITW. "He walked the first batter he faced, but he came back and got a double-play. So, there's your professional pitcher right there. I thought he threw some great fastballs that had late life, threw a couple good sliders tonight and I thought he threw a good changeup."
As for the future, Loewen said that he expected to pitch every-other-day until the end of the trip and then pitch on back-to-back days. With the end of the trip nearing, the big test, to see if he can pitch on consecutive days is nearing, and Bowie pitching coach Mike Griffin is awaiting the word from up top.
"I wait for them to tell me what is going to happen and we go from there," Griffin mentioned. "We're here for Adam Loewen. We're here to get him ready to go back to Baltimore. Whatever which way they tell us to do that, we comply. Sorry to be too simple, but that's the way it really is."
As for what comes after Bowie, there was little clarity.
"I'm sure [the Orioles are] going to go on how I look and then make that decision [on what to do after Bowie]," Loewen said.
As for the present, Griffin has enjoyed having Loewen around from a teaching standpoint. Even though it had only been two days that Loewen was in Bowie when ITW caught up with him, Griffin has seen his young pitchers observe a Major League attitude.
"They know he's been in the Major Leagues, I'm sure they're seeing how a Major Leaguer acts: very professional," Griffin expressed. "Adam's a great professional. They see him when he goes about his business; they see him in the training room doing his work that he needs to get done. They see Adam doing the same things that they're doing after they pitch or before they pitch."
As much as Griffin has enjoyed having a Major Leaguer rub off on the younger talent in the Bowie clubhouse, he knows what is most important for Loewen.
"He's healthy, he feels good, and it's a great night for Adam," after Loewen's 26-pitch outing.
Loewen also felt the same way about his appearance.
"Everything went well, and my arm felt fine, and that's the main thing."
Loewen expressed that he is being cautious in his workouts, but is itching to get back to Baltimore as soon as possible. Through his work in Frederick and Bowie everything has gone incident free so far.
"I just want to get through it, that's the main thing. It's been really long, it's been tough just knowing that I could be there, but I'm not."
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