Mark Lowe is yet again returning to the Seattle Mariners, but fans shouldn’t expect a similar outcome to his previous stint in the Pacific Northwest.
Mark Lowe is back in the Pacific Northwest for a third time. As reported by ESPN‘s Jerry Crasnick, the Seattle Mariners have re-signed the reliever, just four days after he was released by the Detroit Tigers.
The big question is, which version of Lowe will the Mariners be getting? Will it be the one who made 34 appearances for the M’s in 2015, when he recorded an extremely impressive 1.00 ERA and a 47-to-11 K/BB ratio?
Or will it be the version which looked so awful last season in Detroit? The 33-year old’s production declined significantly, best highlighted by a 7.11 ERA in 54 appearances.
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Lowe did not show enough improvement during spring training, to convince the Tigers he would bounce back this season, thus leading to his release. However, the team is still responsible for his $5.5 million salary in 2017, making his acquisition a worthy gamble by the Mariners.
First of all though, the Houston, Texas native must pass a physical. After this, he is expected to start the year with Class AAA Tacoma.
Of course, the Mariners will be hoping Lowe shows enough to be called up to the Majors at some point, to help the bullpen. Among other things, the performance of his fastball will be key, after it dropped by an average of around 3 mph last year.
Overall, the 2004 fifth round draft pick won’t be as good as he was for the Mariners in 2015. However, he still has the skill set to be an asset, pending his ability to rebound from a disastrous 2016 campaign.
Given the minimal financial outlay, it’s tough to argue with the Mariners’ decision to re-sign Lowe. The question is, what kind of production should we expect from the relief pitcher this coming season? Share your thoughts in the comments section.