It was a rough start to the season for Mark Lowe in his new digs of Comerica Park, where he failed to deliver time after time and eventually lost the trust of Brad Ausmus with his 1-3 record and a 10.05 ERA at the All-Star break. After the break, pitching in less stressful situations he had a 3.05 ERA, striking out 25 in 20 2/3 innings.
“I think that the second half gave me some good confidence coming into spring training to get rolling and be ready to go,” Lowe said.
Here is an excerpt from MLive’s Evan Woodbery on Lowe being primed for a bounce-back season:
In 2014, it appeared his career was on the fritz after he posted a 5.62 ERA in Columbus, the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A affiliate. Then 31 years old, he received no Major League offers during the winter and settled on a minor-league deal and an invitation to spring training from the Seattle Mariners, the organization with which he had spent the first six years of his career.
The return home was rejuvenating, as Lowe dominated in 2015. He allowed just four earned runs in 36 innings (1.00 ERA), striking out 47 and walking only 11. The Mariners flipped him for three youngsters at the trade deadline and Lowe finished his season with the Toronto Blue Jays. When he hit free agency, Lowe was in line for the biggest payday of his career, signing a 2-year, $11 million deal with the Tigers.
The Tigers were expecting him to be a high-leverage set-up man. Instead, the bullpen struggled to find a bridge to closer Francisco Rodriguez. The same bridge they still seem to be searching for. The expectations for Lowe in 2017 are nothing if not low, but he’s in a position to help a team that desperately needs bullpen stability.
Dec. 8, 2015: #Tigers sign Mark Lowe to a 2-year deal
— Tigers History (@TigersHistory) December 8, 2016
The Tigers need to add steady production to their bullpen. Alex Wilson, Justin Wilson, and Shane Greene were steady at best last year, but steady leaves you one game out of a Wild Card birth. Lowe could be that guy, if he regains his 2015 form.
Even through the ups and downs, Lowe is excited that spring, the season of re-birth, offers himself a clean slate. Let’s hope he takes advantage of it.
“At the end of the day, one of the only things I can control on a daily basis is how I go out there and compete,” Lowe said. “I’m going to take the things that I can control and make sure that I do them the right way, and the things that I can’t control, you just have to kind of roll with them.”