Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

There's bound to be talk tomorrow

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

So is Mike Lowell sitting at home this Sunday morning wondering what the hell he has to do to get some respect?  The Marlins forced him on the Red Sox and then the Red Sox were trying to give him away to the Rangers and now he’s in no man’s land because he needs thumb surgery.

I looked up his numbers last night as background for what I was going to write and was a little surprised at what I found.  In 2006, his first season with the Sox in which everyone and their mother fell in love with him, his average after 573 at-bats was .284.  After 445 ABs in 2009 he ended the season with a .290 average.  His OBP in 2006? .339.  2009?  .337.   Slugging percentages and OPS?   .475 & .814 in 2006 and  .474 & .811 in 2009.  The only real differences in the two seasons is less playing time in ’09 because of injuries.  As far as his defense, well there is no arguing those numbers.   In 2006 he had 6 errors and a fielding percentage of .987.  In 2009, with less playing time, he made 9 errors with a fielding percentage of .966.   I guess what I’m surprised to find is that, if you factor in injuries and recovery for Lowell in 2009, his season wasn’t all that much worse than it was in 2006 – when all of Red Sox Nation marveled at what a “steal” from the Marlins he was.  I get that he’s getting older and he won’t get any better but I’d argue that if he gets his thumb fixed up and has an entire season behind him from hip surgery, then who is to say his defense won’t improve, at the very least, from 2009?

I guess what I’m saying is, there would be much worse things that could happen to the Red Sox than their being “stuck” with Mike Lowell for another season.   I hope Mike has a successful surgery and is still wearing number 25 for Boston come February.  Because as much as I could understand Boston trying to get value, I really am happy that this trade seems to be kaput.  I don’t claim to be rational all of the time!


December 20, 2009 - Posted by | 2009 |


  1. I’m glad to see him back – I think he’s just a great all-around player and person. Plus he improves the aesthetics!

    Comment by Beth | December 20, 2009 | Reply

  2. The problem with Lowell’s defense is his lack of range and mobility, which won’t show up in the error count. You pretty much have to drop or throw away a ball to get an error–you won’t get one on a ball you don’t get to, even if an average defensive player would have. The newer defensive metrics aren’t perfect by any means, but I think they assess Lowell much better than his fielding percentage does. Ideally some of the range he lost to injury and recovery from surgery will return, but some of it’s probably just age-related.

    And I’m not so sanguine about him getting his thumb fixed up–he’s had thumb issues with the other hand as well. Bones heal pretty well, but tendons and ligaments that take a lot of wear and tear, not always.

    I’m happy as a fan to have an all-around good GUY on the team, but I certainly understand why Theo was trying to upgrade the defense.

    Comment by KellyO | December 20, 2009 | Reply

  3. I’m glad he’s back (hopefully). I think you’ll see him split more time at DH than at third if he stays though. You can’t have enough quality guys IMO.

    Comment by Ted | December 20, 2009 | Reply

  4. I’m glad he’s back. We’ve upgraded the defense at SS and LF already, so keeping 3B the same won’t hurt. And they can always move Youk over there and play Kotchman if they have to.

    Meanwhile, he’s still got pop in his bat which we need and he’s a classy, stand-up guy. I hate it when guys who appreciate playing here enough to take a hometown discount get mistreated.

    Comment by Kristen | December 20, 2009 | Reply

  5. I don’t think I have to tell you how happy Mike staying with us makes me!

    Happy Birthday Cyn!

    Comment by md | December 21, 2009 | Reply

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