Basically a more durable Gryboski or a more experienced Colon — a righthanded reliever with a huge platoon split having a bad year. This year, everyone has hit him, but traditionally he’s been good against righties (.227/.283/.333 from 2002 on) and a batting practice pitcher against lefties (.293/.379/.446), which didn’t keep Felipe Alou from trotting him out there a lot against lefties anyway. Isn’t it weird how a manager will pigeonhole a lefthanded reliever in a specialist role even if there’s no evidence he’s particularly vulnerable to righthanded hitters, but doesn’t care if a righthanded reliever turns an average lefthanded hitter into Todd Helton? Not as groundball-oriented as Gryboski is supposed to be.
Brower was drafted by the Rangers in 1994 but never got to the Show with them. Released, he found himself with the Indians and made the majors in 1999. After a 2000 season where he pitched poorly, he was dealt to the Reds. He was pretty good as a swingman in 2001 (I think every pitcher in Cincinnati in the last ten years has moved between the bullpen and the rotation) and as a full-time reliever in 2002. He was then traded straight up for Bruce Chen, but who hasn’t been at one time or another? This was to the Expos, where he pitched poorly and was let go. He was worked like a dog in San Francisco in 2003-04, throwing 100 innings in 2003 (five starts) and 93 last year (all in relief, 89 appearances). It’s not surprising that he came up lame.
After a 3.29 ERA last year that wasn’t quite indicative of his pitching (he allowed eight unearned runs) he was atrocious this season, putting up a 6.53 ERA. By month, his ERAs were 5.25, 7.36, and 7.36 again. His strikeout rate is up a little but his walks are up a lot, and he’s allowing a homer every six innings. You can hope that Leo can fix him, but the odds are that it’s Dr. Andrews who will wind up getting the call here.