Sunday, May 1, 2011
The Curious Case of Jed Lowrie
The man started the season on the bench, and just a month into the season has inspired a Twitter page called JedLowrieLegend. This is quite the jump for a guy who has been branded as a "super"-utility man. Lowrie has stepped into the Boston lineup to provide the punch that that's been lacking from this team all year long. Through Saturday's 2-0 loss at the hands of Seattle, Lowrie is hitting .368/.389/.574 through just 21 games. While these numbers look great, history says that Mr. Lowrie probably won't be able to hold up this type of production.
First of all, taking a look at his splits* in his career vs. his 2011 campaign, you see that Lowrie is hitting unusually well against right handed pitchers. In his career, the Red Sox shortstop hits .230/.311/.373 against right handed pitching while batting left handed. In games started by right handers Lowrie has a career batting line of .238/.303/.375. Compare those numbers to his 2011 numbers and you'll see quite different numbers. This year, against right handed pitching, Lowrie has hit .361/.400/.444 and has hit .394/.432/.485. There are a few possible reasons why Lowrie has had this much more success hitting off righties in 2011 than any other year of his career.
Looking closely at his career splits, it's pretty easy to see that April is his most successful month. In the season's opening month, Lowrie career batting line is .308/.346/.453. These are his best numbers of any month of the year. Part of the reason for this is probably that he gets hurt so often that the opening month is some of the only playing time he ends up getting for the season. The fact is, however, that Lowrie just never seems to be able to put these numbers up in May, June, and July. The Red Sox hope that injuries are the reason his production drops through the season, but history says that he will not keep his April numbers throughout the season.
Jed Lowrie is an interesting case even if he does keep some semblance of his production all through 2011. Lowrie is a free agent, which you could make the case would make him more likely to keep this production in search of a big contract, and the Red Sox have prospect Jose Iglesias. The young shortstop is in AAA Pawtucket, and is projected to be ready in 2012 to make the jump to the bigs. If Lowrie has a big year, there will definitely be fans pushing to resign Jed. I don't anticipate Lowrie being in Boston next year unless he puts up really good numbers. The Red Sox have been talking about Iglesias for years now, and they seem to be determined to give him a shot. They've had good luck with prospects in the past, and if everything we hear about this kid's glove is true, the Red Sox could have a potential juggernaut up the middle of the field. My hope, however, is that Lowrie sticks around. I love his double-ear flapped helmet.
*all statistics were found on baseball-reference.com
By: Matt Collins at 2:53 PM