It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

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    It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    Lowrie's career minor league splits: 

    As a leftie:      .835 OPS     18 % Line drive rate      963 AB
    As a rightie:    .802 OPS          13% LDR               421 AB
     
    2008-2010 OPS vs LHP :
    Bay        .884
    Teix       .917
    Lowrie   .944
    Cabrera  .966
    Youk     1.067

    Lowrie plays himself into lineup

    01:00 AM EDT on Thursday, April 14, 2011

    By Brian MacPherson

    Journal Sports Writer

    BOSTON — When he met with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Terry Francona wouldn’t admit to having decided on a starting shortstop for Friday. He would admit only to having decided on a starting shortstop for Wednesday — a game that was postponed — and he admitted to that only because the lineup card had been posted in the clubhouse.

    But the lineup card for Wednesday did list the name of Jed Lowrie for the second day running, this time at shortstop in place of Marco Scutaro. If Francona was going to start Lowrie — who hits better from the right side of the plate — against Tampa Bay righty James Shields, it’s hard to believe Lowrie isn’t going to start seeing more at-bats going forward.

    “Jed’s hitting about .480,” Francona said, his voice matter-of-fact. “We don’t have a lot of guys hitting .480.”

    Actually, after doubling twice against Tampa Bay’s David Price on Tuesday night, Lowrie is hitting .438 with an on-base percentage of .500. But the point still holds.

    In a lineup that has shown no sign of breaking out of its April malaise, Lowrie has been one of the few bright spots. Lowrie and Dustin Pedroia are the only hitters in the lineup hitting better than .296. Lowrie, Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis have the only on-base percentages better than .400. Lowrie had more extra-base hits on Tuesday than Carl Crawford, J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marco Scutaro have all season.

    “The results are there,” Lowrie said. “That’s always nice. But I’m really, really happy with the way that I’m working right now and my approach. I’ve always believed that if I keep that approach, the results will be there. They’re there right now.”

    Francona said in no uncertain terms during spring training that Scutaro would be his shortstop. Nothing Lowrie could have done during spring training would have changed his mind.

    On a team inundated with injuries last year, Scutaro played through various shoulder and elbow maladies all the way until the end of the season. A dip in his numbers — his on-base percentage tumbled by 46 points from the previous season — wasn’t just forgiven. It was expected.

    “If I was a player and went through what Scutaro did and then had to come to camp and base my playing time on 40 at-bats, I wouldn’t want to play for a guy like me,” Francona said early in spring training. “I don’t think that makes a lot of sense.”

    Neither Lowrie nor Scutaro has 40 at-bats thus far during the regular season. But the Lowrie-Scutaro debate goes far deeper than 40 at-bats — be they in March or in April or in September.

    Scutaro plied his trade as a utility infielder for the first six years of his career, only once playing more than 120 games before his 32nd birthday. He hit a respectable .261 with a .325 on-base percentage in close to 2,500 plate appearances in that span. He proved himself to be a perfectly capable major-league shortstop — and then he broke out in 2009, posting a .379 on-base percentage and slugging .400 for the first time in his career.

    When his numbers took a step back in his first season with the Red Sox, it looked far more like a veteran regressing to his typical career numbers than a trend that could be expected to continue.

    Lowrie, on the other hand, was drafted in the first round after having hit .317 with a .416 on-base percentage and .594 slugging percentage in his final season at Stanford. He then got on base at a .429 clip in more than 200 plate appearances at Single-A Lowell in his professional debut in 2005, a .352 clip at Single-A Wilmington in 2006, and a .393 clip the following year in more than 400 plate appearances at Double-A Portland in 2007. He then hit .300 with a .356 on-base percentage and .506 slugging percentage when he was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket for the first time.

    In other words, until he hurt his wrist, Lowrie hit at every level at which he’s played. His numbers at the plate have looked far more like those of Dustin Pedroia than anyone would expect.

    And after he recovered from mononucleosis in spring of last year, Lowrie posted a .381 on-base percentage and .526 slugging percentage in August and September. If he’d kept up the same pace for 600 plate appearances, he’d have hit 27 home runs and 42 doubles.

    Facing Price on Tuesday night after having come to the plate just six times since Wednesday of last week wasn’t exactly the easiest task.

    “This is the major leagues,” he said. “You’re going to face good pitchers every night, whether it’s a guy throwing 97 (mph) or a guy throwing four quality pitches off-speed. Guys here know how to get people out. Whether you’re facing a David Price or someone else, you’re going to face a major-leaguer every night.”

    But the two doubles he hit off Price were impressive.

    “When he’s swinging like this, you probably look for ways to get him in there,” Francona conceded late Tuesday night.

    Less than 24 hours later, Lowrie was right back in the Red Sox lineup. He might well be in the lineup against Toronto lefty Brett Cecil on Friday. He won’t hit .480 — or even .380 — all season long. But he’s making a compelling argument to be in the lineup every day nonetheless.

    edit
    Friday:
    Brett Cecil (lefty)
    Saturday:Jo-Jo Reyes (lefty)
    Sunday:Jesse Litsch (traditional righty)
    Monday:Ricky Romero (lefty)
    Tuesday: Off
    Wednesday: Brett Anderson (lefty)
    Thursday:Gio Gonzalez (lefty)

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    k
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from southpaw777. Show southpaw777's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    Hes got a bad rap from some sox fans for one wrist injury and some bad luck with mono . IMO, Lowrie could be an above average ss playing full time..
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from SpacemanEephus. Show SpacemanEephus's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    In Response to Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS:
    [QUOTE]Hes got a bad rap from some sox fans for one wrist injury and some bad luck with mono . IMO, Lowrie could be an above average ss playing full time..
    Posted by southpaw777[/QUOTE]

    95% of those fans were Softlaw.
     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from agone. Show agone's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    let's be honest; IT CAN'T HURT.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from MikeNagy. Show MikeNagy's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    LOL, you're right Spaceman. Nice to see him healthy and getting a chance to show what he can do.

    Now if Ellsbury can turn it around, Sofftlaw will have to concentrate on Wakefield.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from redsoxdirtdog. Show redsoxdirtdog's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    As I've said a number of times, I love Scutaro for the true grit he showed last year, but Lowrie absolutely deserves the job full time.  More importantly, it is what's best for the team!  Especially right now!!!!  Francona would be an absolute fool not to get that hot bat in the lineup.....  It's time!  Scutaro would certainly be a great backup & utility infielder. :)

    Sorry Marko!  I still love ya!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Alibiike. Show Alibiike's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    Frankly, I like the idea of him playing 3B and Youk DH 'ing.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from SpacemanEephus. Show SpacemanEephus's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    In Response to Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS:
    [QUOTE]Frankly, I like the idea of him playing 3B and Youk DH 'ing.
    Posted by Alibiike[/QUOTE]
     
    I don't know Ike.  Youk doesn't strike me as the DH type.  I figure him for the kind of guy whose hitting would suffer if he was sitting around in the dugout the whole game.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    In Response to Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS:
    [QUOTE]Frankly, I like the idea of him playing 3B and Youk DH 'ing.
    Posted by Alibiike[/QUOTE]

    Yeah because it's always a good idea of replacing the guy leading the team in RBIs with a player who needs to raise his average by around 75 points (give or take) just to reach the Mendoza line.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from NH27. Show NH27's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    There's no question his bat needs to be in the line-up full time.  He does look very good at third, helps his otherwise average arm.  I wonder if Youk can play SS?
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from soxmeister. Show soxmeister's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    Youk should play 3rd, Lowrie SS ... the question is whether Scutaro can play 3rd ... so he can become the utility guy.   Lowrie can spell anybody really.  
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    You could always have Scutaro come in at SS and slide Lowrie to 3rd if need be.

    This is exactly what I was saying yesterday.......
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    I've been a fan of Lowrie since he first came up, so if he gets the starting job, that's fine. I don't have a problem with Scutaro getting more of a chance, but either way is OK with me.

    But I'll say it again. The Sox aren't going anywhere until Youk and Crawford start hitting.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from BaseballGM. Show BaseballGM's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    If he can improve on a .226 career mark against righties, he'll be in there five times a week.  - NESN

    In one of the key late inning moments of the last game close loss to the Rays, with ROB, Lowrie came up left handed and hit a weak fly ball to the CF'er. 

    The author of this thread has called Lowrie an elite MLB SS and has been angry that he was given a UIF role. Even assuming Lowrie can hit will against MLB right handed pitching over a season sample, he is very slow on his feet, has a slow release and does not make up for it with a strong arm. Defensively, his only career potential is as 2nd baseman. Unless Pedroia gets hurt, he has zero chance of ever replacing Pedroia, who is a gold glove caliber defender and an elite AL #2 hitter. 

    The writer of this article didn't do his homework, which is why he left out the holes in Lowrie's resume. He wanted to take a few games, a struggling team, and pretend that Lowrie is this elite MLB hitter who would really help turn the corner for the struggling Red Sox. His assertion is completely false.

    Scutaro is quicker on his feet and has a stronger throwing arm and quicker release. But Scutaro is better suited at 2B, defensively, himself. 

    Offensively, Scutaro was one of the better hitting SS in 2010. 

    152 Games .273 OBP .333 OPS .721

    Lowrie has been given numerous chances to prove he can play everyday, but had the Texas heat exhaustion incident to go along with all the other time he's missed over the last 3 seasons. 

    Scutaro has proven he'll always show up ready for work, and it would take some serious injuries for him not to show up for work. 

    Lowrie's numers are only impressive offensively and in short stints. He's never withstood the rigor of a full season in MLB, where SS is the most demanding position, athletically. 

    Lowrie was very impressed with the NFL labor strike, and seems to be more interested in that than he does showing up for work as a member of the MLBPA

    Let's take a closer look at Lowrie's metrics and sample sizes:

    2010 (last year) Came in rested and only played 55 games and was not able to handle playing everyday. He needed some rest for fatigue, and was also platooned for situations and matchups.

    2010 (55 game year) v. RHP  .250  .353  v. RHP Starters OPS .753 

    2010 152 games scutaro) v. RHP .273 .328 v. RHP Starters OPS .749 

    It should be noted that Scutaro's numbers are likely to rise if he is rested more against RHP. He played almost everygame in 2010.

    2009 (32 games Lowrie) .147  .211  .475  

    2008 (81 games Lowrie) .258  .339  .739   (This is the largest sample season)


    Career v. RHP for Lowrie =  .226  .312  .683

    Career v. RHP for Scutaro =  .270 .333  .713

    Lowrie's numbers over the grind of a full season will head towards his career lows, against RHP, not stay at his career highs. 

    Lowrie's 2011 tiny sample size number agaiinst RHP are .250 .250 .750

    Given Lowrie's fragile physical and mental state, and given the fact that Scutaro has more range and better tools to play defensive SS, it's quite clear that Lowrie should be platooned against LHP at SS, a few DH and 3B and 1B and 2B reps v. LHP. 

    It's quite clear why Lowrie was put in the UIF role. The numbers bear it out. It takes a shallow mind to not look at all the date and the team makeup and then pretend that Lowrie should be playing everyday at SS. He fits best in the platoon/UIF role, mostly against LHP and some pinch hit duties against some RHP. 

    Scutaro isn't a better pinch hit option than Lowrie, and he isn't a better backup 1B, 3B and DH option. The numbers simply aren't enough v. RHP to swap the two in the roles. Lowrie fits better in the role he is in. If he hit RHP better, he might have a case, but that's not the case, even in 2010.

    Now, let's forget about 2011 offense, where Lowrie won't be any team hopes difference on what will end up a top tier of the league offense, anwyay.

    The team's starting pitching is the barometer for 2011. The best defense behind it gives it the best results over the long season. That would be using Lowrie against most LH starters, and having a rested Scutaro play the larger platoon starts at SS.

    Going to 2012, the Red Sox need to end the slugging SS experiment, as it has been a failure going back to Nomas. They need a top defensive SS with tremendous range, quick release and big gun throwing arm. That would be Iglesias, and how a defensive SS wiz hits is not important as long as he can execute a bunt and knows the strike zone well enough to get on base enough to not be an automatic out.

    The Red Sox, as always, need better young starting pitching depth than they have. Lackey is a bust, best case #4 starter, and they also need a solid young defensive catcher who can hit marginally. Varitek is washed up, can't hit, can't throw runners out, and can't move behind the plate, so they need another good young catcher. They also need a good young RH OF'er.

    Lowrie's future is at 2B, with 3B being marginal everyday chance as he does not slug well enough from the left side. Keeping as a UIF/platoon SS or starting SS should not be on the table, nor should the DH spot be on the table because that needs to be a killer slugging LH bat profile or combination of lefty slugger profiles. 

    Lowrie won't be a difference maker this year, Gammons is wrong as usual, and he should be sold before the end of next winter. 

    Peter, and the guy who wrote this shallow article of lazy work on Lowrie and the Red Sox, focus your time on the starting pitching and stop fretting over the offense. Not getting a solid young RH OF bat over Crawford was a value blunder by Theo, but take a look at how many runs the 2010 Red Sox scored. 

    Beckett looked solid in his last outing against an A-Roid less Yankee team, and Lester and a young Buch are likely to have another solid year. If those three pitch solid, the Red Sox will win the division if the SS spot hits under the mendoza line. If Lowrie hits RHP like he does LHP, and the starting pitching ends up like last year, the Red Sox will ride Lowrie to the outhouse.  

    It should also be noted that Scutaro has the biggest hit of the season, in the close win over the Yankees. Lowrie failed to deliver against a RHP in the last game with a late inning opportunity to deliver.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from beavis. Show beavis's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    The sooner the better, he is swinging a hot bat...all the way from last year...
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from BaseballGM. Show BaseballGM's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    Do you even read the details on this team and Lowrie's total history and the needs of this team? No, you don't.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from tom-uk. Show tom-uk's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    Pike and others often write that Softy doesn't believe what he writes, it's all an act to attract suckers.  He may have even written that, but I would contend most of his act is real.  If you can be bothered to read the mammoth post three above. Can you honestly tell me you think he doesn't have an attachment to what he posts? Only a person who can't stand being wrong would produce that post.

    He would love to see Gonzalez walk in FA just to say he was right all along.

    The shoe is on the other foot. He is the one who takes it all to heart. I have been killing him on Lowrie since August and he can't stand it.  Just my take, as they say.

    Lowrie's career minor league splits: 

    As a leftie:      .835 OPS     18 % Line drive rate      963 AB
    As a rightie:    .802 OPS          13% LDR               421 AB

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from wadeandrson. Show wadeandrson's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    Love Scoot's toughness but Jed has to play. Scutaro is a better utility player for this team, and can even spell an outfielder for a game if need be. IMO Jed could be the best hitting shortstop in the AL this year, he has to play.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from BaseballGM. Show BaseballGM's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    I can't speak for another poster, but Lowrie's v. RHP numbers aren't impressive enough to take him out of a role that Scutaro doesn't fit as well. Neither guy is a very good SS defender, but Scutaro is quicker and better at SS. Since the v. RHP numbers of Lowrie aren't impressive, and since the team needs a UIF who can play all the IF spots and DH some v. some LH starters, Lowrie is in his role for a reason.

    Unless Lowrie improves his hitting to where it's a lot better v. RHP than Scutaro, he doesn't have a case to void the UIF role that he was rightly trained for this spring. Lowrie is a better pinch hit option than Scutaro, and can come in and play some emergency first.

    They have it right, Lowrie should start at SS against most LH starters, then fill-in at the other spots.

    I can't speak for another old poster, but it's clear that there was never any deal in place for AGon. Given what has been given up, Theo will have to pay a premium and close the deal, but that doesn't mean the false reports about a done deal waiting for just after opening day to avoid the CBT were true. It's true that both sides benefit from cutting the CBT, but the sides are still negotiating a deal that was never "a done deal". When the deal is finally done, Beckett's deal was done and waited to be signed and announced well before now, this deal was never a done deal. Theo hedged on shoulder, which will cost him a premium and even more if the orginal outside market parameters are dropped by AGon's agent.

    As for killing on Lowrie since August, that's not long when stacked up against his career or his v. RHP splits, even since August. But that's really not the issue. Unless Lowrie hits v. RHP better, you need to make a better case for why he should switch roles and start playing everyday SS instead of platooning v. LHP and playing in the other 4 spots, 2B, 3B, 1B and DH spots as a backup.

    Instead of just reading a lazy writers work on Lowrie and the Red Sox state of affaris in early April, make your case why Lowrie should be the everyday SS, instead of platooning the SS position, and why Scutaro should be the UIF/bench guy. Also, make your case why Lowrie should be used with a plan to retain him as the long term starting SS going into 2012, as that has to affect the planning for how he is used in 2011.

    Do you believe that Lowrie is the better future SS option over Iglesias? If so, tell us why.

     
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    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    Ugh
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    Yep, Lowrie's numbers against RHP's aren't impressive..... unless you look at his minor league career and realize that he was playing injured for the majority of his major league sample.

    And Softy, please don't tell me that you honestly consider the heat exhaustion to be a separate issue with his health?  He had just returned from Mono and went out to play in 100 degree weather.
     
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    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    man we know were in a deep pile of it when we start looking at Jed as our savior
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS

    In Response to Re: It's unofficial Lowrie is the starting SS:
    [QUOTE]I can't speak for another poster, but Lowrie's v. RHP numbers aren't impressive enough to take him out of a role that Scutaro doesn't fit as well. Neither guy is a very good SS defender, but Scutaro is quicker and better at SS. Since the v. RHP numbers of Lowrie aren't impressive, and since the team needs a UIF who can play all the IF spots and DH some v. some LH starters, Lowrie is in his role for a reason. Unless Lowrie improves his hitting to where it's a lot better v. RHP than Scutaro, he doesn't have a case to void the UIF role that he was rightly trained for this spring. Lowrie is a better pinch hit option than Scutaro, and can come in and play some emergency first. They have it right, Lowrie should start at SS against most LH starters, then fill-in at the other spots. I can't speak for another old poster, but it's clear that there was never any deal in place for AGon. Given what has been given up, Theo will have to pay a premium and close the deal, but that doesn't mean the false reports about a done deal waiting for just after opening day to avoid the CBT were true. It's true that both sides benefit from cutting the CBT, but the sides are still negotiating a deal that was never "a done deal". When the deal is finally done, Beckett's deal was done and waited to be signed and announced well before now, this deal was never a done deal. Theo hedged on shoulder, which will cost him a premium and even more if the orginal outside market parameters are dropped by AGon's agent. As for killing on Lowrie since August, that's not long when stacked up against his career or his v. RHP splits, even since August. But that's really not the issue. Unless Lowrie hits v. RHP better, you need to make a better case for why he should switch roles and start playing everyday SS instead of platooning v. LHP and playing in the other 4 spots, 2B, 3B, 1B and DH spots as a backup. Instead of just reading a lazy writers work on Lowrie and the Red Sox state of affaris in early April, make your case why Lowrie should be the everyday SS, instead of platooning the SS position, and why Scutaro should be the UIF/bench guy. Also, make your case why Lowrie should be used with a plan to retain him as the long term starting SS going into 2012, as that has to affect the planning for how he is used in 2011. Do you believe that Lowrie is the better future SS option over Iglesias? If so, tell us why.
    Posted by BaseballGM[/QUOTE]


    Well, I must admit ur posts are credible and finally showing some research.

    But UR mask is slipping again, dear.
     

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