Pressure not getting to Sowers

Pressure not getting to Sowers

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The way Jeremy Sowers sees it, he can't lose.

Even if he doesn't get the No. 5 starting spot in the Indians' rotation, Sowers feels he's in a pretty good position with the Tribe.

"I'm 24 years old," Sowers said. "I don't feel like a time bomb about to go off. I'm still very fortunate to have the opportunity to be where I am."

Sowers helped his position with a decent outing against the Nationals in a split-squad game Friday afternoon in Viera. He went four innings, giving up two runs on five hits with two walks -- a marked improvement over his clunker against the Nats on Sunday, when he gave up six runs in two innings.

Sowers felt he was too predictable in that previous outing and much better this time.

"It feels good to get through all the innings you're allotted for," the left-hander said. "I was also able to get some double plays, which are always nice to have."

The race between Sowers, Cliff Lee and Aaron Laffey hasn't been all that enthralling, particularly with Lee having the supposed upper hand because of his experience and contract status. All three struggled early in the Grapefruit League season, but each left-hander has shown improved performance his last time out.

"All three threw well prior to the games, then struggled some in the games," manager Eric Wedge said. "Now, all three are picking it up again. It's been good to see."

Sowers' velocity, which decreased last season, is back where the Indians want it to be, and Wedge said his delivery was more consistent in Viera.

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"I liked the way he was throwing the ball at the beginning of camp," Wedge said. "[On Friday] he put it into play. It was important for us to see that in a game setting."

On the whole, Sowers, who is 0-1 with a 11.25 ERA in four appearances, is happy with the way he's thrown, and he doesn't seem overly caught up in the pressure of a position battle.

"I'm throwing all my pitches for strikes," he said. "I've commanded all my pitches at some point or another. I'm getting the results I need."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.