After a failed attempt to convert to the outfield, Phillies pitcher Adam Loewen made his first MLB pitching appearance since 2008 on Monday.
Loewen was called on in the sixth inning of Monday night’s game against the Diamondbacks with runners on the corners and one out. He struck out the first batter he faced, Jake Lamb, intentionally walked Paul Goldschmidt and then allowed an RBI single to David Peralta before being pulled from the game.
Loewen, 31, was taken with the fourth pick in the 2002 draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He appeared in 35 games over three seasons, primarily as a starter. In 2008, he gave up pitching due to injuries and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays while he attempted to transition to the outfield.
Loewen’s best minor-league season as a hitter came in 2011, when he hit .306 with 13 home runs and 70 RBIs in 134 games for Toronto’s Triple A affiliate in Las Vegas. His performance earned him a September call-up to the majors and he batted .188 in 37 plate appearances. He struggled at the plate in 2012 and '13, though, and made the decision to transition back to the mound for the 2014 season.
“It's been a roller coaster of emotions from year to year,” Loewen told CSN Philly after he was called up last week. “One day you think you're in it and the next day you're out. And then you're back in. But I've been really blessed to have a third opportunity. I just feel lucky. I feel lucky to be here.”
- Dan Gartland