According to a tweet from Jerry Crasnick, the Dodgers have signed right handed reliever Mark Lowe to a minor league deal, with an invite to their major league spring training. With Spring training only a few days away, it comes as a bit of a surprise. However the Dodgers keep showing that they are willing to continue stockpiling arms. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, since you can never have enough pitching. There have been rumors speculating that the Dodgers have been looking at Lowe for months, and finally pulled the trigger on the right hander.
Reliever Mark Lowe has reached agreement on minor league deal with #Dodgers. Includes invite to big league camp.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 8, 2013
Lowe is a 29 year old right hander from Houston Texas, originally drafted by the Mariners in the fifth round of the 2004 amateur draft. Lowe made his MLB debut at age 23 while with the Mariners in 2006. Lowe has primarily been a set-up man, and middle reliever while pitching for the Mariners, and Rangers. Lowe pitched for Seattle from 2006-2010, before being traded along with Cliff Lee to the Rangers, for prospects Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke, Matt Lawson, and Justin Smoak.
Right elbow problems, limited Lowe to only 15 games in 2006, and four games in 2007. Lowe pitched in 57 games for Seattle in 2008 while posting a 5.37 ERA, and then followed that season by posting a 3.26 ERA in 75 games for the Mariners in 2009. In 2010 Lowe was traded to the Rangers in the Cliff Lee deal. After Lowe’s trade to Texas, he was knocked out because of back problems, but did make a comeback late in the season. Lowe’s injuries limited him to only 25 games in 2010 between Seattle and Texas. The next season Lowe recovered to have a solid season. Lowe pitched in 52 games in 2011 for Texas, posting a 3.80 ERA, and an 8.4 whiff per nine rate.
Lowe was most infamous for allowing the home run to Cardinal’s David Freese in game 6 of the 2011 World Series for Texas. Lowe continued to have injury problems in 2012. This time it was a strained intercostal muscle that kept him to only pitching in 36 games last season. He still posted a 3.43 ERA, with 28 whiffs in 39 innings pitched. Lowe has been mainly considered a power pitcher by using three pitches, a fastball, slider, and circle change-up. His fastball reportedly can reach speeds of 100 MPH.
Perhaps the Dodgers didn’t give him a guaranteed contract because of all the injuries he has had over the years. Last season Lowe made 1.7 million dollars with Texas. The contract he signed with the Dodgers is worth 1.5 million dollars, if Lowe makes the big league roster. Incentives could increase the value of the contract to 2.1 million dollars.
Lowe has posted a career 3.94 ERA, with a 7.8 whiff per nine rate, and a 3.8 walk per nine rate. He has a 7-20 career record, and has recorded five saves. His spits indicate he is stronger against right handers then left handers, making him a possible intriguing Roogie. (righty one out guy)
Lowe throws very hard, and has always put up decent numbers. It seems like he should have a pretty decent chance to make the opening day roster, considering there are a couple of spots in the Dodger bullpen that will be up for grabs in spring training. Then again he could be just another spring training arm. Only time will tell for Lowe.