Some Mark Lowe Praise


I think a lot of us have been wondering for awhile now, how someone who has stuff like Mark Lowe hasn’t been able to translate it to big league success yet. Well, it appears he finally may have.

Lowe showed glimpses of brilliance back in 2006, posting a tRA of 3.72. With his high plus plus fastball, good change, and good slider, he got a lot of Mariners fans excited for his future. Unfortunately, after missing most of the 2007 season, he wasn’t the same pitcher when he returned in 2008. His fastball wasn’t a good pitch for him anymore, he was walking too many hitters (1.62 K:BB compared to 2.01 league average), and he ended up posting a less than attractive 4.92 tRA.

He didn’t get off to a great start this year either. From April 8th – May 30th:

24 games, 25 IP, 29 hits, 19:10 K:BB, 9% swinging strikes, 28% LD%, 9 XBH

He somehow wasn’t missing any bats with his fastball, and wasn’t using his off speed pitches nearly enough. Something apparently clicked for him though, as his numbers since the beginning of June are:

29 games, 31.2 IP, 18 hits, 29:11 K:BB, 11% swinging strikes, 19% LD%, 9 XBH

Improvement with his fastball has been a crucial part of the turn around, but it’s his slider that’s made the difference. It’s been a great pitch for him – 5.9 runs above average, by far the best among his pitches. You had to expect him to get things going eventually. When you have a fastball that can touch 100 and a slider that you can both miss bats with and throw with command, you have to start pitching well eventually.

If we get into the situation next year, in which we’ve traded David Aardsma, and neither Josh Fields or Phillipe Aumont are ready to take on the closer’s job, Mark Lowe should probably be able to take on that job, at least temporarily. He hasn’t been quite as good as Aardsma (Aardsma tRA = 3.28, Lowe tRA = 4.00), but he does have the advantage of having a really good breaking ball.

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