RHP – Mark Lowe
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on April 20, 2006
In case some of you are scouring the box scores and happened to catch Mark Lowe's last two outings, I thought I'd share some thoughts on the former fifth-round pick.
Lowe was taken 153rd overall in the 2004 draft out of the University of Texas-Arlington, where he was a teammate of Houston Astros prospect Hunter Pence, a first rounder that same year.
The M's took Lowe with the thought that he could serve in one of four roles in the future; starter, closer, long relief or setup.
Lowe uses a fastball in the 89-93 range to set up a slider and a change. His control has not been very good in his pro career until this season, walking 63 batters in 142 frames.
But the 22-year-old has been nothing short of sensational for Inland Empire this month, and is working his way back into the starting rotation after two insanely sickening outings, one in a spot-start and tonight in long relief.
Last Friday, Lowe went five no-hit innings versus High Desert, striking out eight batters. He did not walk a batter.
Tonight in relief of right-hander Ivan Blanco, Lowe went four scoreless innings at Stockton, allowing one hit, a single, and striking out eight more hitters. Again, Lowe did not walk a batter.
For the season, the 6-3, 195-pounder is 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings. He's walked four, allowed just four hits – all singles – and struck out 26, which now leads the California League.
He and closer Stephen Kahn lead the league's best pitching staff. They furthered that notion by combining with Blanco, LHP Eric O'Flaherty and RHP Aaron Trolia to strike out 19 batters in a 12-inning 2-1 win over the Oakland A's Cal League club.
Kahn now has 21 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched and has allowed just four hits and two walks.
Combined, Kahn and Lowe have 47 strikeouts in 26 innings and opponents are hitting just .117 off the two right-handers.
Notes: LHP Thomas Oldham remains on the disabled list with a sore left shoulder. He will be re-evaluated after he sees the team doctor when the Rainiers return to town this weekend…