Veteran reliever Mark Lowe is plotting a comeback effort, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter). He’s said to be seeking a minors pact (preferably with an MLB camp invite) or an opportunity abroad.
Lowe, now 35, did not pitch in 2018 and has not appeared in the majors since 2016. He received a MLB invite from the Dodgers in Spring Training this year, but was cut loose before the start of the season.
While his most recent attempt failed to gain traction, Lowe has rediscovered himself in the past. From 2009 through 2012, Lowe turned in 177 2/3 innings of 3.60 ERA ball. Two tough seasons later, though, he inked a minors pact with the Mariners in 2015. Lowe turned into a journeyman treasure, working to a 1.96 with 10.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 over 55 frames.
That burst of productivity led the Tigers to sign him to a two-year, $11MM contract in advance of the 2016 campaign. Lowe collapsed, allowing a dozen long balls and 41 earned runs in 49 2/3 innings that year.
Whether Lowe can attract interest in his turnaround effort will likely depend upon what he can show scouts. Perhaps more so even than most pitchers, Lowe’s fortunes have been tied to velocity, which seems to have come and gone over the years. His most successful campaigns have come when he has averaged 96.0 mph or better with his fastball, with generally meager results mapping out to those where he hasn’t — including, unsurprisingly, that forgettable ’16 season.