Blue Jays Get New Old Mark Lowe to Shorten Games

The Blue Jays’ bullpen hasn’t been terrible this year, but there are two important names ahead of them if you rank the American League’s relievers by teams: the Yankees and the Orioles. But with the additions of Aaron Sanchez, LaTroy Hawkins, and now Mark Lowe, things might change a bit for the Blue Jays.

If you haven’t checked in with Mark Lowe recently, you may not have noticed that he’s returned to some of his former glory. In the results category, yes, but also in a more important category:


The reliever that used to average 96 on the fastball is back, and with that rise in velocity has come an unprecedented level of effectiveness on the slider. His now-87-mph slider has never averaged as high of a whiff rate as it has now (22%). Thanks to a new grip, that slider has the best combination of velocity and drop of his career.

With the move of Sanchez to the pen, and the acquisition of Lowe, the Blue Jays may end up with top-three bullpen velocity in baseball. With Aaron Loup and Brett Cecil from the left side, and Sanchez, Lowe, Hawkins, and Bo Schultz from the right, the team has put quite the collection of arms behind rookie closer Roberto Osuna.

Shortening games during the season should be helpful for a starting rotation that’s top-heavy. The Yankees are in on relievers despite having a great pen, and the Blue Jays are most like the Yankees when it comes to getting innings from their starters:

Team IP/GS
Royals 5.53
Rays 5.62
Red Sox 5.63
Rangers 5.65
Orioles 5.72
Yankees 5.78
Blue Jays 5.88
Twins 5.89
Mariners 5.93
Tigers 6.03
Athletics 6.06
Astros 6.08
Indians 6.09
Angels 6.18
White Sox 6.30

As the Royals — tops on this list have shown — a great bullpen is a way to improve an iffy starting rotation. Mark Lowe, this year’s Kelvin Herrera?

With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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Well-Beered Englishman
8 years ago

“Bo Schultz” sounds like an eccentric white-bearded jazz guitar player from Denmark.

Brock Holt!
8 years ago

Although that would be cool, his actual identity is nearly as cool! He is infact a beer league softball player from Brooklyn:

Mental Meat
8 years ago

How about this guy from Sweden?

Well-Beered Englishman
8 years ago
Reply to  Mental Meat

Hey, pretty close! I was thinking of composer Bo Holten.

Bluebird in Boulder
8 years ago

Bø Schultz, please.