There haven’t been many pleasant surprises in this disaster of a season. The list of unpleasant surprises (or, maybe more accurately, “Unpleasant I Should Have Seen This Coming’s”) is seemingly endless:
You can practically field a full team with all the guys who’ve sucked for us! But, the real pleasant surprises have been few and far between.
- Cruz through the first two months
- Sucre the relief pitcher
- Mark Lowe
Everyone else is pretty much as expected. Maybe I should’ve expected worse out of guys like Ackley, Zunino, and the like, but I’m a foolish, foolish man. Constantly suckered in by promise.
Mark Lowe, though, is one of the good ones. He was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training and I really didn’t have much hope for him sticking around. Shows what I know. He did make it onto the Tacoma roster, pitched well for a month, and was called up to Seattle in early May. Since then, he’s merely pitched 26 innings across 26 games, giving up 2 earned runs, walking 10 and striking out 34. He’s got that life on his fastball – throwing anywhere from 95-97 mph – and most importantly he’s got command. He’s easily been one of the best – if not THE best – relievers on this team (he’s at least in the top 2 with Carson Smith), and it’s showing with how the team has used him.
Early on, he was being used in early innings, in blowouts, and in close losing efforts. Now, he’s one of the main set-up guys with Smith and Rodney (depending on who’s closing that particular night). With the likes of Furbush and Beimel locking things down from the left side, and with Rodney’s recent improvement (last night’s blown save notwithstanding), the Mariners ALMOST have a top notch bullpen. Those last two spots are really up for grabs at this point, with a rotating cast of characters trying and failing to get the job done. But, it’s nice to know we don’t have to worry about someone like Lowe.
In games we’re winning late, we shouldn’t have much problem locking down the save (again, depending on which version of Rodney we get). A big reason behind that is Mark Lowe returning to form. He might be pitching his way toward a raise next year – and as such, might be out of our price range for 2016 – but it’s nice to see SOMETHING go right in this year that has gone so wrong.