The Dodgers on Sunday granted Mark Lowe his outright release, trimming their roster in big league camp to 38 players, including four non-roster invitees. Lowe, who was signed to a minor league deal and given a non-roster invitation to spring training, had an opt out clause if he wasn't added to the active roster by Mar. 26.
Lowe packed a bag, hugged a few of his teammates, and left the Dodgers clubhouse in street clothes on Sunday morning.
"He didn't do anything wrong in camp. We thought he threw the ball good," said manager Don Mattingly. "There just wasn't a spot. This gives him a chance to catch on with another club."
Lowe, who turns 30 in June, was one of several pitchers fighting for possibly one bullpen spot. The only ones who remain in camp fighting for that role are Josh Wall, Paco Rodriguez, and non-roster invitees Kevin Gregg and Peter Moylan, but that is before factoring in how many bullpen spots, if any, will be occupied by excess starters Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, and Aaron Harang.
Neither Gregg nor Moylan have an opt out clause during spring.
The Dodgers signed Lowe on Feb. 8, just four days before pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch. He was 0-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 36 games with the Rangers in 2012, and in February I wrote about his rib injury and declining velocity:
He missed 36 games, including all of July, with a right intercostal strain (ribs), and after returning from the disabled list had just three strikeouts and five walks among his 41 batters faced. Lowe struck out just one of the final 26 batters he faced on the season, with three walks. Lowe's fastball has consistently been among the fastest in baseball on average, 95.4 mph for his career. But after years of 96.3, 95.5, and 96.8 mph, Lowe's fastball dipped to 93.9 mph in 2012.
Lowe put up a 4.15 ERA in nine appearances in the Cactus League, with six strikeouts and three walks in 8⅔ innings. He last pitched Friday afternoon against the Reds, with a strikeout and a walk to his two batters faced. He has pitched the last seven seasons for the Mariners and Rangers.