FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Lowell, marveling at the half dozen or so media in attendance for five minor league at bats, agreed to speak this morning at the minor league complex. But he agreed on one condition: No questions about his current situation.
He was fine with answering queries about hitting, or about playing first base, but didn’t want to talk about the possibility of being traded, or the awkwardness with Adrian Beltre, or anything of that nature.
No problem, though Lowell alluded to the situation on his own.
Asked how he was doing physically, Lowell said, “I don’t worry about playing that one day, it’s the 100th game. Although, under my circumstances, I might not see 100 games. I don’t know. In a sense I’ve been like, ‘Does it really matter?’ But I think it’s still my job to be ready, cause you never know what’s going to happen. You just don’t. I don’t want to be in a position where I’m just going to sulk. You never know. Crazy things happen.”
Lowell had five at bats yesterday, switching between the two minor league games at the complex (Salem and Greenville). Lowell struck out in his first at bat, walked in his second, hit a long fly ball to deep center for an out, hit a bloop single to center, and hit a home run to left as his finale. His first four at bats were off lefties, with the final coming against a righthanded pitcher.
He served as DH yesterday, but has spent his first two games at first base. He will play at third base on Sunday.
“First is pretty comfortable,” Lowell said. “The responsibilities race through my mind. I know Nomar [Garciaparra] had a recurring dream, but I had a recurring dream that I wouldn’t cover first on a ground ball. I’m always, ‘Cover first, cover first, cover first.’ I don’t think I’m going to miss it.
“But there’s the little things like backing up a throw on a sure double, on a possible triple being that trail guy, those are the things that I’m not used to, so I think my responsibilities have gone through my head a lot.”
Lowell said his biggest test will come running, with some concerns still lingering about his hip. It feels better, he said, but the question is how long it will feel that way, how many games he’ll be able to play. Lowell estimated that he wants about 25 good, solid at bats to feel truly comfortable, though he fully expects to be ready by Opening Day.