The Noah Lowry progression:
Season 1: Change-up of the gods. Well-placed fastball. Solid strikeout rate.
Season 2: Change-up of the mostly impressive mortals, much-improved curveball. Solid strikeout rate.
Season 3: Mediocre fastball, change, and curve. Control didn't improve. Low strikeout rate.
Season 4: Can he build on what came before? Or does he switch time slots and add a baby to the cast?
Thinking about a future rotation of Zito, Cain, Lincecum, and Lowry is a favorite daydream of mine, but the catch is that Lowry needs to be the '04 or '05 version. The other catch is that Zito's declining K/BB can't catch up with him. The other other catch is that no one can get hurt. But it's my daydream, damnit, and in this daydream Lowry regains that vicious change and pairs it with some improved control to become an above-average and cheap starter for years to come.
In order to share the daydream, though, you have to be willing to blame everything on injury. The oblique made him do it! The oblique made him do it! I'm naturally skeptical about the injury excuse. Matt Morris had cracked ribs? Ouch, indeed. That still doesn't explain the subpar fastball and fifteen-curves-in-a-row strategy he featured before the injury. But Lowry's strikeout rate dropped so precipitously that there really isn't much other than injury or sloppy mechanics to blame it on. I'm not a mechanics expert, so I'll have to defer to those who are. So I'll blame the injury, and I generally evaluate injuries something like this:
Declining performance + Oblique tweak = Good? Wait, no. But not automatically bad, either.
HR Allowed: 26