Mark Lowe: Spring struggles are norm

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mark Lowe seemed to be a combination of annoyed and amused when a pack of reporters approached his locker the day after he got lit up by the Rockies.

The hard-throwing right-hander isn’t exactly alarmed about his 10.50 ERA in six Cactus League innings.

“I guess it’s just another spring training for me,” Lowe said. “It’s no different than it ever has been. I get hit around. I’m working on how to use my velocity. Every week, it gets better. I have to take a step back and learn how to use 97. It takes me all six weeks. It always has.”

Lowe attributes his struggles to poor location of his fastball – i.e., down the middle of the plate – and a slider he says never works in the dry Arizona air.

Lowe’s fastball did register 97 on the radar gun while the Rockies were scoring four runs in one inning against him. That’s evidence that he’s completely healthy after missing most of last season because of back problems that required surgery.

“This is the best I’ve ever felt in any spring training that I’ve ever had,” Lowe said.

It’d be a lot easier to feel good about Lowe playing a key role in the Ranges’ bullpen if he’d mix in a few scoreless innings.