Jed Lowrie and the Astros have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $2.4 million contract.
Acquired from the Red Sox last offseason, Lowrie was arbitration eligible for the second time after hitting .244 with 16 homers and a .769 OPS in 97 games as the Astros’ starting shortstop.
As usual he was productive when in the lineup but missed big chunks of time with injuries. Lowrie has one more season under team control before becoming a free agent, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Astros try to sign the oft-injured switch-hitter long term or shop him for younger talent before July 31.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.