Mike Lowell will not play again at least before the regular season ends after being pulled from tonight's game after one painful and damaging at-bat as a designated hitter. Lowell, the 2007 World Series MVP, has been battling a torn labrum in his right hip.
After the game, Terry Francona said Lowell was not about to "pull the plug or quit," implicitly saying there is reason to worry that is an option.
"He's sore," Francona said. "That was certainly discouraging tonight. From our side of it, and I spoke to him in the rain delay a little bit, he's certainly not ready to pull the plug or quit trying to play. So, we're kind of on board with him trying. The plan was to play him at third base Sunday. I don't think that's going to happen. We'll work our way the next two days here. And then Monday, Tuesday, we'll see how it goes. It was certainly discouraging tonight. Again, because of how tough he is and what he means to us and him still wanting to play, we don't want to pull the plug either. We'll just monitor the best we can, see what happens."
Lowell was asked if he questions whether he could or should be on the playoff roster for the ALDS, which will begin Wednesday in Anaheim.
"It depends," Lowell said. "I would defer to -- we'll see what time says. By no means do I think I'm owed a roster spot because I've played here if I'm not going to do anything to help the team win. But, I don't know. In a short series, it's a little different. You don't have to carry as many pitchers. We'll see. I'm not ruling out anything yet. But obviously I was disappointed today."
Lowell flew out to left field in his lone at-bat, but it was the pitch before his out that sent him to the bench, when he checked his swing. He felt a "grab" in his hip, the same pain he felt in Tampa Bay roughly 10 days ago when he made a running, off-balance throw from third base to first.
"The swing doesn't hurt me. It's the non-swing. It's when I kind of started and stopped, because I think I recognized it's not a strike. That's when I feel that grab. I don't know how to avoid that. I can't go into the pitch thinking, 'I'm swinging at this one, I'm looking at the other one.' I don't know. We'll go from there."
Lowell was asked if he felt he needed to play before the playoffs in order to play in the playoffs.
"I'm not worried about the at-bats," Lowell said. "I think I could do it. I kind of want to prove to myself and to them I can play in the field. I don't want to particularly try something that's going to be a failure. I'm not classifying it as that. I'm not writing it off yet."