Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers Say Buh-Bye to Mark Lowe and Make Other Moves

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Jun 25, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) runs the bases after he hits a home run off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Mark Lowe (21) in the eighth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 25, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) runs the bases after he hits a home run off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Mark Lowe (21) in the eighth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

The Detroit Tigers front office got something right.

According to the Tigers PR, Mark Lowe has been unconditionally released.

Lowe’s deal seemed to be sealed after his last outing on March 25. After Anibal Sanchez pitched like his career depended on it, Lowe came in a gave up the goose. Literally. When Sanchez was finished on the mound, the Pittsburgh Pirates had goose eggs in hits and runs. With a 3-0 lead, Lowe came in and let the Pirates tie it up.

And, that was what Lowe did throughout much of 2016.

The front office decided that maintaining leads was more important than $5.5 million, which is what the team still owes him. Overall, it was a good move. With $194 million on the books according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, $5.5 million is a drop in the bucket.

Anthony Gose Sent to Minors

Mar 14, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Anthony Gose (12) stretches prior to a spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Anthony Gose (12) stretches prior to a spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The other notable move involves Anthony Gose who was a potential center field candidate. His fate after his ho-hum spring was to be reassigned to minor league camp. Honestly, this comes as no surprise. Gose managed an uninspiring .237/.275/.564 without any stolen bases. Yeah, he might have a left-handed bat and some speed, but what good is it if a player just really doesn’t seem to care?

He’s lucky to even be wearing a team jersey, in my opinion.

John Hicks was sent to Triple-A Toledo, which is a wise move. He will need to be close to Detroit because it’s safe to say he will have to make the drive a few times in 2017.

Players Sent to Minors

Joe Jimenez, Dominic Ficociello, Arcenio Leon, Ruben Alaniz, and a few others were sent to minor league camp, too. While being sent to minor league camp is a death knell for Gose, it is a positive sign for the rest of these players. All of these young men performed well in spring training and could see time in Detroit soon.

No News on the Outfield Spots

Detroit Tigers
Mar 13, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Andrew Romine (17) bats against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Now that the roster is pared down to 36 players, the real work begins. The two catchers are in place as well as the infield spots. With J.D. Martinez out for a few weeks, right field has become an issue and center field is still undecided. The front office will need to make a decision about Steven Moya, JaCoby Jones, Dixon Machado, Tyler Collins, and Andrew Romine.

If spring training stats are being used to compare players, keeping Romine is a no-brainer. He has had the best spring training of any player. He has a perfect fielding percentage and his 19 hits currently lead the team. His performance does not appear to be a fluke, either. His flexibility to play infield and outfield could land him in center or right while Martinez is healing.

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Of the others, Jones has proved that he is worth keeping around in the Bigs. His bat has come alive and his athleticism has been on display in Florida. He, like Romine, can play a plethora of positions. Moya and Machado cannot.

Then, there’s Collins. He’s been playing well, but he’s only an outfielder, so he’s limited like Moya and Machado. I’m betting that Collins will be kept over Moya, simply because he can play all three spots in the outfield. I don’t think Machado will make the team, either.

Predicting the Last Big Move

In the pitching pool, there will be a few cuts. I’m going out on a limb and making my prediction that Mike Pelfrey will be given his walking papers. He hasn’t been seen much lately on the mound, so Avila may already have his mind made up. Even though Sanchez has looked good lately, he should be put in the bullpen. Matt Boyd has been consistently good, where Sanchez has not.

Next: Sanchez Pitched Well Three Games in a Row

With just a few days left in March, a few more big front-office moves will be coming soon.

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