Rays release Mark Lowe despite impressive spring

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Mark Lowe has been fantastic this spring, throwing 10.1 innings with a 0.87 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio, but the Rays decided not to give him a spot in the Opening Day bullpen and granted the right-hander’s request to be released.

Lowe was injured and ineffective for the Angels last season, but for the Rangers in 2011 and 2012 he posted a combined 3.63 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 84 innings.

He signed with Tampa Bay on a minor-league deal in November and looked like a fairly typical Rays bounceback acquisition, so it’s curious that he’s not sticking after an impressive camp.

Astros release Jon Singleton

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The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”

Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.

If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.