OAKLAND — As Jed Williams continues to hit, what of Marco Scutaro?
The Red Sox felt for months that Scutaro was capable of being shortstop on a championship team. That hasn’t necessarily changed because Lowrie is having the best 24 at-bats of his life.
The question for now is how to work Scutaro in.
Lowrie is the only backup infielder on the bench. So if he’s the DH, you’re in a jam if somebody gets hurt. The solution is to DH another fielder (such as Kevin Youkilis) and use Lowrie at third base with Scutaro at shortstop.
Francona did that on April 12 and it sounds like he’s planning something similar for tomorrow. With a day game after a night game and the Sox having traveled on Monday, it would make sense to give one of the infielders a little bit of a break.
“I think I know what I’m going to do the next couple of days,” Francona said.
You can’t let Scutaro rot on the bench. As well is Lowrie is playing right now, nobody knows whether he can play a full season at shortstop because he never has.
At 27, Lowrie has never played more than 81 games in a season (that coming in 2008) or had more than 306 plate appearances. The potential is certainly there — check out Globe colleague Chad Finn for more on that — but that’s all it is for now, potential.
There are several ways this could go:
• Lowrie stays over .300 and becomes the shortstop with Scutaro the backup.
• Scutaro returns to shortstop after Lowrie returns to earth.
• Lowrie is the shortstop, Scutaro gets traded (the Giants could use him) and you find a utility infielder in the minors.
And don’t forget Jose Iglesias, whose ETA is 2012. Two words for those who think the Red Sox would never trade him: Casey Kelly.
In the end, having too many good players is a heck of a problem to have. We’ll see if that’s the case two weeks from now. As fast as those 24 at-bats had people projecting greatness for Lowrie, the next 24 could return him to the bench.