When Mariner reliever Mark Lowe was included in the Cliff Lee trade on July 9, it appeared to be a futures acquistion by the Rangers, one made with 2011 in mind. After all, Lowe was coming off back surgery in June to repair a herniated disc, and hadn’t pitched since May 2. Not too many guys go from the 60-day disabled list to being a possible factor in the postseason.
Yet that’s precisely the case with Lowe, who spent a stint rehabbing in the Arizona Instructional League before returning to the major-league mound Wednesday against his old team, the Mariners. And an impressive return it was, a scoreless inning that featured a consistent 95-mph fastball that had scouts raving.
However, on Friday Lowe gave up three hits, including a homer to Juan Rivera, in the ninth against the Angels. Lowe will likely pitch Sunday in one final chance to show he can help Texas in the playoffs.
The Rangers are searching for setup help because Frank Francisco has been out since Aug. 27 with a back injury and is unlikely to be ready for the first round of the playoffs against the Yankees.
The Rangers aren’t wild about the other candidates (Alexi Ogando or Darren O’Day), and are increasingly intrigued by Lowe in the postseason.
“We haven’t ruled it out,” general manager Jon Daniels told the Dallas Morning News last Monday. “He hasn’t pitched at this level in four months, but he’s thrown well down there and we’ll see how he does.”
No matter what happens, I’m happy for Lowe, who has gone through a lot of adversity in his career but has persevered.