Whitmer's energy savings claim includes the 13 years before she took office

McCann gets Lowe up to speed, it pays off

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. — Right-hander Mark Lowe pitched another scoreless inning Sunday. He’s put up zeros in four of his five outings this spring.

After giving up a couple of long home runs in Tampa, catcher James McCann noticed something.

“My velocity was down, and Mac just said, ‘I know there’s more in there,’ ” Lowe said. “He said he knew I didn’t lose four miles-per-hour.”

McCann went back and looked at video from 2015, a productive season for Lowe, and at video from parts of last season when Lowe’s velocity shot up to the mid 90s, which is where it is when he’s pitching well.

McCann noticed that when he’s right, Lowe takes his pitching hand out of his glove quicker at the start of his delivery. It’s like a trigger mechanism for his entire motion. When the hand comes out quickly, his delivery is smoother and his arm comes through quicker.”

“It’s just a small thing, a millimeter really, but it makes all the difference,” Lowe said. “When your arm is late there’s just some lost energy back here.”

Sure enough, Lowe worked on it in his recent bullpen sessions and his velocity came back up.

“Today was the best, the most free and easy I felt — effortless — in a long time,” Lowe said. “Last year, I mean it was like a boxing match. Getting punched all day long. Just trying to stand up.

“It’s nice to have teammates that care about you. There’s a lot of good teammates in this clubhouse and I think when everybody is looking for ways to improve, not only themselves but everybody else, it just makes our team better. That’s what it is going to take for us to win a World Series, honestly. Everybody has to have that mindset.”

Lineup change

The Tigers continue to be extremely cautious with Nick Castellanos’ sore right quad. 

He was scratched from the lineup again Sunday.

“We going to hold him out one more day,” Ausmus said. “There is no reason to play him and risk reaggravating it.”

Castellanos is scheduled to be the designated hitter on Monday in West Palm Beach. 

Andrew Romine got the start at third base.

Funny story

Veteran right-hander Edward Mujica, a non-roster invitee in camp with the Tigers, has some history with Ausmus. He faced him twice at the end of Ausmus’ playing career.

“He struck me out on a nasty splitter,” Ausmus said. “And he said one time he was facing me, he threw a 3-2 pitch right down the middle and umpire called it a ball and I walked.

“He asked the umpire about it afterward and he said the umpire told him, ‘Ah, he’s retiring soon anyway.’”

Around the horn

J.D. Martinez, who came in with three hits in 23 at-bats, ripped a double and a long home run onto the berm in left-center field. Justin Upton had two hits including a double. 

Twitter: @cmccosky