Ever since the Boston Red Sox drafted infielder Jed Lowrie in the first round of the 2005 June draft, I’ve been a fan. Lowrie seemed to fit the mold of a Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia-type player. Not great athletes along the lines of Carl Crawford, but really solid baseball players.
But despite my support of Lowrie, I can’t help him stay on the field. Lowrie has been a walking injury with the Red Sox, and his latest injury might end his career as a starter in Boston for good.
Lowrie was placed on the 15-day DL last week with a shoulder injury. Lowrie said he felt the shoulder pop out of his socket, which is never good. Then, this past Friday, Lowrie revealed that he has a bruised nerve in his shoulder and that there is no timetable for his return.
Once again, it looks like Lowrie’s season will be derailed by an injury. This is nothing new to those who have followed Lowrie’s career with the Red Sox.
In 2009, after a monster spring in which it looked like Lowrie was going to seize the starting shortstop job, he suffered a wrist injury in April and eventually needed surgery on that wrist. For all intents and purposes, Lowrie’s season was lost.
He came back in September, but was never the same hitter he was back in March.
Lowrie’s 2010 season didn’t get started until July because of a case of mononucleosis. When he did return, Lowrie showed why the Red Sox believed in him. In 197 plate appearances, Lowrie hit .287/.381/.526 with nine HRs and a .393 wOBA.
Lowrie took his hot second half of 2010 and carried it over to 2011. The former Stanford Cardinal hit .368 in April, and with Marco Scutaro getting off to a slow start and battling an oblique injury, it finally looked like Lowrie had turned the corner.
But yet another injury has set Lowrie back. After this injury, I don’t think the Red Sox can rely on Lowrie being a starting shortstop in the major leagues.
A lot can happen from how until the start of the 2012 season, but my guess is the Red Sox will buy out Scutaro ($1.5 million) and give Jose Iglesias every opportunity to win the job at short.
Lowrie, as it has come to be, will be back in his familiar role of utility player.