Mark Lowe failed to make the Opening Day roster for the Rays despite an excellent spring and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the right-hander has agreed to a minor league contract with the Indians.
Lowe posted an 0.87 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio as a non-roster invitee with Tampa Bay during Grapefruit League play. The 30-year-old opted for free agency this week after he was informed that he did not win a roster spot.
Lowe battled through injuries and ineffectiveness with the Angels and Nationals last season, but he was a useful reliever with the Rangers from 2011-2012. Even though he appears bound for Triple-A Columbus, he has a chance to contribute in Cleveland’s bullpen this season.
Part of the reason the Cleveland Indians could trade away a pitcher like Trevor Bauer in the middle of a playoff race is because they have reinforcements on the way. The primary reinforcement is Corey Kluber, who has been out since May 1 with a broken arm. Based on what happened yesterday it’s possible that the Tribe will have to wait a bit longer for that particular reinforcement to arrive.
Kluber was the starter in yesterday’s game between Triple-A Columbus and Charlotte. He managed only one inning, however, walking two and not allowing a run before being lifted due to abdominal tightness. It was said that he was removed for precautionary reasons, so it may not be an injury as opposed to everyone simply being spooked. He’ll be reevaluated today.
It’s unclear whether this will delay his return to the Indians, though it obviously isn’t a good development. As it stood before yesterday, Cleveland had hoped Kluber could make big league starts in September and be ready for the postseason.