Bullpen roles of Uehara, Lowe likely secure

Bullpen roles of Uehara, Lowe likely secure

Bullpen roles of Uehara, Lowe likely secure
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rangers relievers Koji Uehara and Mark Lowe have not had great springs, at least in the eyes of some. General manager Jon Daniels doesn't seem particularly concerned.

"You'd like to see more consistency but it's Spring Training," Daniels said. "It's like I said back in January, I don't like Spring Training decisions. What it looks like in Arizona looks totally different in 10 days."

The Rangers do have some Spring Training decisions to make before they leave the desert but they seem inclined to trust the track record for both Lowe and Uehara. They certainly aren't going to release Uehara even though he has an 11.88 ERA and a .333 opponents batting average, and trades don't appear likely at this point.

Clubs just aren't inclined to take on salary at the end of Spring Training. The Reds have lost relievers Ryan Madson and Nick Masset to injuries but still aren't willing to take on salary to upgrade their bullpen.

"I feel good about our bullpen," Daniels said. "I like our bullpen. We've got a call to make on our last spot but we have some good choices."

Lowe, who allowed three runs in a Minor League game on Thursday, has pitched in eight Cactus League games and has allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks. He has struck out four in eight innings.

"I think the spring has gone well," Lowe said. "I feel I'm healthy and I've been throwing strikes. I guess a lot of people think otherwise but to me it only matters how I feel."

The Rangers know Lowe can be very good. He started off slow last year and needed time in Triple-A to get some mechanical issues resolved. But from June 18 to the end of the season, he was 1-2 a 3.00 ERA and a .202 opponents batting average. He also struck out 27 in 27 innings before a hamstring injury cut short his season.

"You're always constantly polishing, re-polishing, learning new things," Lowe said. "You never stop learning. There are always ways to improve. During the course of the season, you're always making adjustments. But this is Spring Training. My whole mindset is to get my work in and attack hitters. The regular season is completely different. If I get into the season and things aren't working, then I make adjustments."