Texas Rangers

Someone Explain to Me What I'm Missing in Mark Lowe

I know, technically, he's all the Texas Rangers have to show for the Cliff Lee trade -- assuming the $2 million in cash has long since been spent -- but what the what am I supposed to be seeing in reliever Mark Lowe?

Because I think know I see a guy who gets behind the count, throws 97 mph fastballs -- sans movement -- right down the middle and consistently gives up hits and runs. The Rangers led 2-0 in the 6th yesterday in Detroit when Lowe entered the game.

He immediately allowed about 800 feet of wall-banging doubles to the first two hitters and then a run-scoring single in coughing up a lead the Rangers had just taken in the top of the inning. Later, for the second consecutive day, the Rangers lost via walk-off hit in the ninth.

This, of course, is nothing new with Lowe.

Lee helped pitch the Rangers to the World Series, and you can't put a value on his contribution to the longest, best season in franchise history. But with him now in Philly the trade is first baseman Justin Smoak (Seattle's starting first baseman), pitcher Blake Beavan (1-0 with a 0.90 ERA at AAA), pitcher Josh Lueke (who got his first Major League victory Monday night) and infielder Matthew Lawson (traded to the Cleveland Indians in spring training) for...Lowe?


I want to like Lowe. He's 6-foot-3 with a live arm, and he went to my alma mater, UT-Arlington. But this is what we've received with him on the Rangers' mound:

In the 2010 regular season he made three appearances with an ERA of 12.00.

In the 2010 World Series he made two appearances, recorded two outs and allowed five earned runs for an ERA -- this has gotta be a record, right? -- of 67.50.

In 2011 he's appeared in four games with an ERA of 13.50.

I was underwhelmed by Lowe last October. I was worried about him last month at spring training (check out No. 9). But now, I'm just done.

Lowe: Let's Build Something Together. Namely, a rally.