Mike Lowell’s prognosis is excellent according to the Florida Marlins. Lowell, 24, will receive a short course of radiation. He is expected to return sometime during the 1999 season, but it is a case-by-case situation, and there is no time frame for his return.
Difficult news coming out of Viera as the Marlins open Spring Training. Newly acquired Mike Lowell has undergone surgery for testicular cancer. The Marlins have yet to release an official statement. It is still unclear at what stage the cancer was, how Lowell is doing, and what impact this will have on this season.
The Florida Marlins announced Wednesday they have agreed to terms with pitchers Armando Almanza and Joe Fontenot, infielder Nate Rolison and catcher Guillermo Garcia on one-year contracts for the 1999 season. Terms of the deals were undisclosed.
John Boles made it official by announcing that Alex Fernandez will start opening day. This indicates the return of Fernandez, who was injured in the 1997 playoffs.
After a year of courting, the Marlins finally acquired 3B Mike Lowell from the New York Yankees. In exchange, the Marlins paid a heavy price by sending Eddie Yarnell, Mark Johnson, and Todd Noel. All three are pitchers.
Yarnell, a left from Coral Springs, was originally acquired in the Piazza trade from the Mets. Johnson was acquired in the Alou trade and Noel was acquired in the Felix Heredia trade. Lowell is a power hitting third baseman, considered the top prospect in the Yankees organization. He was the key name circulated when the Yankees tried to acquire Randy Johnson (Lowell was then supposed to be traded to the Marlins for Louis Castillo), but that fell through. Lowell spent most of last season in AAA where he hit .304 with 26 homers and 99 RBIs. He had 15 at bats for the major league team and he had 4 hits. The 24 year old right handed hitter will wear number 28 and live in Coral Gables, where he grew up. He was a college All-American at Florida International University.
Lowell will be given the opportunity to win the starting job from Kevin Orie.