Durable Loe could be an asset in Mariners' bullpen

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Kameron Loe has been one of the more durable relievers in the Majors the past two years with 142 appearances for the Brewers and the 6-foot-8 right-hander is getting a good look early from the Mariners this spring.

Loe, 31, is a non-roster invitee on a Minor League deal, but the club likes his experience and versatility as a former starter with the Rangers who emerged as a quality setup man for Milwaukee the past three seasons.

Loe went two innings Tuesday against his former Brewers teammates and gave up one unearned run on two hits, before eventually heading over to the home clubhouse and exchanging hugs and hellos with his old pals.

"They know me and I know them, so it was just fun," Loe said. "I really enjoyed the competition. I might have had a few nerves and was rushing to the plate a little in the first inning. Partly because it was them, and it's my second outing of the spring and I'm trying to make a statement here. I had a little extra nerves, but I settled down and started throwing strikes."

The Mariners could use a reliever capable of throwing multiple innings, and didn't waste any time putting Loe into that situation.

"I don't know what they're thinking, but I did that a lot with Milwaukee in 2010," he said. "John Axford and I were covering the seventh, eighth and ninth. I'd pitch like five outs and he'd come in for the last four. That probably happened 20 times that season."

Loe still hasn't ruled out returning to a starting role at some point in his career. He says he'd love to get that chance now that he's developed a better changeup than when he was with the Rangers.

"It's just another weapon," Loe said.

Which could be true of Loe as well, if the Mariners decide the big man fits in their bullpen plans.