Next up in our Spring Training Watch series, is Mark Lowe. The last two that I've done have been position players, so I thought I'd do a pitcher this time.
Lowe has been an amazing prospect at one time, to landing on the DL for three months. He is ranked as the number eight prospect in the Mariners' system by Baseball America. The only problem is, is that he can't stay healthy for more then five minutes. He has a tremendous arm, but hasn't been able to show it off during the last few years.
In 2007, Lowe only managed to pitch 12.2 innings, but managed 64.2 innings in 2006. His 103.2 IP in 2005 tell you that something is happening. I'm not really sure if Lowe had been doing any starting during the last few years, but is usually a set-up man. As a reliever, over 60 innings is pretty good, but cutting his IP total by forty from the year before, could mean that he switched from starting to relieving. That's all fine and good, what type of pitcher only gets 12 IP, and is healthy? Not many.
In Lowe's 21.1 innings in the bigs he has looked good. His 2006 was pretty good in the Bigs. In 18.2 IP, he put up a 1.93 ERA and 20 K's, with only 8 BB. You can't really consider his 2.2 IP in 2007. I see Lowe as one of the two; starting with the Rainers (AAA) in the back end of the rotation building up his arm strength and getting some healthy innings under his belt, or in the set-up role for the Mariners. Maybe in more of an eight inning role depening on the Erik Bedard situation, which probably will determine the Brandon Morrow situation, could be a possibility.
Morrow has all of the tools, and definitely the potential to be a top MLB pitcher. If Lowe shows up this Spring healthy, then he should be in line for a gig with the big club, if, he's healthy.