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We complete our week-long series of previews with our jack-of-all-trades infielder, Jed Lowrie.
I have much love for Jed Lowrie, who is the only set-in-stone Sox reserve infielder as of now. The mononucleosis-having, wrist-breaking mystery quietly constructed an OPS of .907 last year. Even more impressive was his OPS+ of 139. Now, he didn’t make his debut until July 21st and played in only 55 games but he absolutely mashed when he was in the lineup.
Mostly filling in at first and second due to injuries but also logging time at first and at third (one game), Lowrie showed he is a steady glove at every infield position. He reminds me of a young Cal Ripken. Tall and rangy with a quick, slashing swing. I think he should be starting at shortstop.
Stay with me here. With an experienced player like Scutaro backing him up, all of Lowrie’s injury apprehensions float away. If he gets hurt, Scoots can step right in without the Sox missing a beat. I’d hate for the Sox to miss out on Lowrie’s possible standout production because they went the safe (or “monied”) route with Scoots and then handed the job to Iglesias in 2012. Taking a step back, a broken wrist and a bout of mono don’t exactly make Lowrie the Grant Hill of MLB.
Just by the mere amount of games starters missed in 2010, the Sox infield offensive production should increase substantially as far as “counting stats” are concerned. The subtraction of Beltre and addition of Gonzalez is a defensive wash and an offensive upgrade. We know Pedroia and Youkilis will both be hell bent on playing a full regular season. 2011 could be Papi’s Last Stand but he’ll have ample reinforcements in his war against time and, as I have not faith in Salty, we’ll probably see a lot more of Varitek than conventional wisdom suggests. All in all, the Sox look solid at the infield/DH positions on both sides of the ball.