April 18, 2011
As far as provincial boondoggles go, they don't get much better than Patriots Day in Massachusetts. The Red Sox play an 11 am baseball game, the city of Boston hosts a marathon, and much of the area shuts down for the day, sipping an adult beverage or two and rooting on the various athletes.
The sizzling middle infielder carried the Red Sox to an easy 9-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Monday, collecting four hits (including a homer) and four RBIs. He's on a crazy 15-for-24 binge over the last 10 days, with a couple of homers. Lowrie's been flying off the waiver wire in Yahoo! leagues, bumping his ownership level up to 23 percent.
And most of us remember the dynamic run he went on late last year, clubbing nine homers and slugging .526 in essentially two months of playing time. Over his last 197 at-bats, Lowrie has just as many walks as strikeouts (25). The offensive stats jump off the page at you.
There's only one buzzkill to the Lowrie story — do the Red Sox actually want him to settle in as the everyday shortstop?
The presence of Marco Scutaro(notes) shouldn't be seen as major hurdle — he's an ordinary player in every sense of the word. But some have speculated that Lowrie isn't durable enough to be counted on as a regular; he's battled wrist problems for over three years (he missed the entire 2009 season), in addition to a run with mono last season. Terry Francona is choosing his words very carefully with the Lowrie situation — he's praising Lowrie's offense, but he hasn't declared anything definitive about the shortstop position going forward.
At the end of the day, Lowrie's upside wins the roto debate. You add him in a mixer and see where the story goes. Heck, I recently acquired Lowrie in a league where acquires are capped at 20 for the season — I love his power potential and the dual-position eligibility (you can also slot him at second base). Just know that the Red Sox haven't made a long-term commitment here, not yet.
All we can say with any certainly is that Lowrie's spot in Tuesday's lineup, at Oakland, looks pretty secure. Let's hear your fearless Lowrie forecast in the comments.
Image courtesy Associated Press