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Tag:Jed Lowrie
Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:27 am
Edited on: February 28, 2012 11:04 am
 

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

Brett Myers

By C. Trent Rosecrans


The Astros' search for a closer has led them to their own rotation. Brett Myers, Houston's opening-day starter a season ago, will close this season, manager Brad Mills told reporters on Tuesday.

Houston Astros
Myers has been a starter in all but one of his 10 years in the majors, closing for the Phillies in 2007. Last year he was 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA in 34 games, 33 of those starts. In 2007, he had 21 saves after moving from the team's opening-day starter to the back of its bullpen. He had a 4.33 ERA overall that season, but had a 2.87 ERA in 48 appearances as a reliever.

The team approached Myers about the switch after he reported to camp. Houston signed Lian Hernandez and Zach Duke to minor-league deals in the offseason to join the rotation with Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and J.A. Happ. The team also has Jordan Lyles, Lucas Harrell, Henry Sosa and Kyle Weiland competing for a starting spot.

"From my standpoint, we have some depth in the rotatiton between Duke, Livan, Happ, Sosa and Harrell and all the young guys," Luhnow told reporters, including Brian McTaggert of MLB.com. "We feel like we're in pretty good shape there and have some choices. We felt like we were a little exposed in the bullpen and having a guy who's been successful in that role and who's got the mentality and stuff to do well takes the pressure off of Brandon Lyon coming off an injury and doesn't put pressure on young kids like David Carpenter and Wilton Lopez."

Lyon started the season as the team's closer last season, but was injured early in the season. Mark Melancon took over, picking up 20 saves. The Astros traded Melancon to the Red Sox for infielder Jed Lowrie and Weiland in December.

Myers, 31, is in the second year of a two-year deal paying him $11 million this season. The Astros have a $10 million club option (with a $3 million buyout) for 2013 that vests based on his number of starts. According to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), the team has adjusted Myers' option in accordance to his new role.

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 4:18 pm
 

Astros, Red Sox make three-player trade

By Matt Snyder

New Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow has made his trade, and it just so happens to be the first big-league trade for new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington as well. The Astros have acquired shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland from the Red Sox in exchange for relief pitcher Mark Melancon. The Astros officially announced the move Wednesday afternoon.

Is it possible the Red Sox are going to make Melancon their closer, instead of going after a potentially high-priced free agent like Ryan Madson? With Jonathan Papelbon out the door, the Red Sox are in need of a closer and have seemed reluctant to spend tons of money this offseason. Melancon, 26, had 20 saves in 25 chances with a 2.78 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He struck out 66 batters in 74 1/3 innings.

Of course, the Red Sox have been discussing a move of Daniel Bard to the starting rotation -- and reports from the Boston area say it's already been decided -- so maybe they sign Madson and use Melancon in the eighth? The back-end of the bullpen would seem awfully shaky going with Bobby Jenks in the eighth and Melancon in the ninth. Adding another arm seems more likely than standing pat. Also note: The Red Sox have been connected with A's closer Andrew Bailey in trade rumors.

Update: CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports the Red Sox are still seeking a closer. They see Melancon as a setup man with the potential to close eventually.

Lowrie, 27, hit .252/.303/.382 last year in a big-time disappointing performance. He had a great small-sample showing in 2010 (.907 OPS), so there's potential here. I'd guess Lowrie becomes the Astros' starting shortstop, but there's so much unknown with the club now under new direction. We really have no idea how much tinkering will be done before opening day.

Weiland, 25, was a rookie last season for the Red Sox and got knocked around pretty well. He went 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA, 1.66 WHIP and gave up 29 hits in 24 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander was 8-10 with a 3.58 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 24 Triple-A starts. Of note, Weiland moves much closer to his roots than he would have been in Boston, as he went to high school in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:24 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

One of the main reasons we came up with this exercise was because of the massive amount of fighting in the comments sections over who "buys" their teams instead of drafting and developing their own talent. In some cases, the accusations are true. In others, they aren't. While these Red Sox don't have Adrian Gonzalez or David Ortiz or Josh Beckett, you'll certainly see several key, familiar names.

Lineup

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
4. Hanley Ramirez, DH
5. David Murphy, LF
6. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Josh Reddick, RF

Starting Rotation

1. Jon Lester
2. Clay Buchholz
3. Justin Masterson
4. Anibal Sanchez
5. Carl Pavano

Bullpen

Closer - Jonathan Papelbon
Set up - Daniel Bard, Rafael Betancourt, Frank Francisco, Hideki Okajima
Long - Kyle Weiland, Daisuke Matsuzaka? (Not sure I could stomach that ... )

Notable Bench Players

Ryan Lavarnway, Lars Anderson, Freddy Sanchez, Engel Beltre

What's Good?

The top of the order is sick. If Hanley Ramirez had one of his good years, that's a top four that few in baseball could match. The entire pitching staff is really, really strong, too. Lester as an ace works fine and Masterson and Sanchez are pretty darn good in those slots. There was one point last season (May) when Sanchez was almost as good as anyone. Then you move into the bullpen and the back-end is what it was in 2011, with Bard and Papelbon. Here, though, we get to add Betancourt and Francisco to the mix. That's quite a bridge to Papelbon, and remember, this with a good rotation.

What's Not?

The lineup thins out quickly. It's not awful by any stretch, because Lowrie, Shoppach and Reddick are a decent 7-9, but Murphy isn't good enough to be a fifth hitter in a great lineup and we still can't be sure how Rizzo pans out. Also, there is no depth, either on the bench or in the bullpen. The onus is entirely on the main guys to shoulder the entire workload.

Comparison to real 2011

Let's avoid all the off-field crap and just focus on the issue at hand. Is this team better than the one that was in the AL playoff race until the final out of the season? The offense isn't as good, that's for sure. Most of the other spots are at least close, but the Rizzo/Gonzalez gap at first base is gigantic. Pitching-wise, though, this group is better, top to bottom. There's no Josh Beckett, but there also isn't a full season of John Lackey with mixed in Dice-K and then the spare-part injury replacements they had to use for most of the season. The real-life Red Sox won 90 games and this group feels like a similar one in terms of wins. It's not elite, but it's pretty good.

Next: Detroit Tigers

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Posted on: September 14, 2011 9:25 pm
 

Lowrie has cortisone shot; Scutaro streaking

LowrieBy Evan Brunell

The Red Sox have had a shortstop controversy all season, but Marco Scutaro has come away the clear winner.

The loser, Jed Lowrie, originally took the job from Marco Scutaro after kicking the season off scorching hot, including a stretch from April 9-23 when Lowrie hit .477/.489/.773. However, Lowrie has found the going tough as of late, colliding with Carl Crawford when trying to field a pop fly on May 29. Suffering a bruised nerve, Lowrie lost most of his power and missed 45 games, returning at the beginning of August. Since then, he's shown that he can't hold down a full-time job, struggling to a .213/.262/.266 line since in 104 plate appearances.

That led Lowrie to get a cortisone shot in his shoulder on Tuesday, the Boston Herald writes.

“It got to the point where I wasn’t being helpful, productive, for the team, so I needed to do something about it,” Lowrie said. “I didn’t have any other choice. It was either shut it down for the year or get this shot and hope to play and do what I can to help the team win this year.”

From what I understand from the doctors, everything in my shoulder was so inflamed that it was almost to the point where it was shutting down again, so I had to stop that cycle,” Lowrie added. “The last couple weeks it was getting bad, so I had to do something.”

While Lowrie's been struggling, Scutaro has been chugging along and has a firm grip on the starting job. Scoot, who signed a two-year deal to become Boston's shortstop prior to the 2010 season, didn't get the year off to an encouraging start by slashing .260./328/.355 through Aug. 6 with a month-long injury sandwiched in there. But just as Lowrie returned, Scutaro heated up with a 4-for-4 day against the Yankees on Aug. 7. Since then, the 35-year-old has hit .364/.409/.525, giving the team another offensive contributor just in time for October.

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Posted on: June 17, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 5:04 pm
 

Papelbon suspension reduced to two games

By Evan Brunell

Jonathan Papelbon's suspension has been reduced from three games to two and he will immediately serve it, knocking him out for the first two games of interleague play as the Milwaukee Brewers come to town, the Boston Herald reports.

Daniel Bard will serve as closer in the interim. Papelbon was suspended for his actions against the Oakland Athletics almost two weeks ago. Papelbon and catcher Jason Varitek were increasingly frustrated with home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo's strike zone, and 'Tek received an ejection from the game in the ninth inning to show for it.

Papelbon followed two batters later, when he was seen yelling from the mound after throwing a first-pitch strike in a location that had been called a ball previously. He claims he was trying to get new catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia coming to the mound, but Randazzo felt Papelbon was yelling at him, so he stepped out from behind the plate and took steps toward the closer, yelling right back. Papelbon was admittedly antagonistic, but blew up when Randazzo ran him from the game. He ran furiously at the umpire, possibly bumping him in the process, then let Randazzo know exactly what was on Papelbon's mind.

Also on Friday, the BoSox placed shortstop Jed Lowrie on the disabled list and called up Drew Sutton. Lowrie has struggled with a shoulder injury for some time, with the injury worsening during Thursday's game. Marco Scutaro is expected to take over full-time duties at short.

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Posted on: May 8, 2011 1:09 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Scutaro out 'a while,' Iglesias' role defined

By Matt Snyder

The promotion of light-hitting yet slick-fielding prospect Jose Iglesias makes a lot more sense Sunday morning, as Marco Scutaro has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters Scutaro is going to miss a good amount of time with an oblique injury (what else, right?).

“He’s over getting get an MRI,” Francona said. “His left oblique had been a little tender for a few days and after the rain delay [Saturday] he went back out, and I don’t know the exact incident, it started grabbing at him, and actually started grabbing at him pretty good. Even knowing the MRI wasn’t going to be till this morning, we know he’s going to be down for a while with his symptoms so we got Iglesias here.” (WEEI.com )

Don't expect to see Iglesias used as a regular, though. He's the backup to Jed Lowrie at shortstop and Francona has said he's only planning on using Iglesias as a late-inning defensive replacement or a pinch-runner. With good reason, because Iglesias is hitting .253 with zero extra base hits and a .278 OBP in Triple-A.

“I think we all think he’s got a bright future here,” Francona said. “I don’t think right now is his time to be our starting shortstop.” (Clubhouse Insider )

In other news, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Red Sox have contacted Bengie Molina, but aren't yet ready to make a strong push. The reason is simple, they are not getting much from the behind the plate. Jason Varitek works well with the pitching staff, but he's one of the worst hitters in the majors at this point. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was supposed to take over catching duties this season, but he has been suspect defensively and hasn't been much better than Varitek at the plate (.203/.247/.275). The Red Sox seem to be constantly looking for ways to improve their catching situation, but there just isn't much out there at this point. Things should change when it gets closer to the trade deadline (a Ryan Doumit, perhaps?), but for now it appears they're stuck hoping Salty starts swinging the bat.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Jed Lowrie on fire, laying claim to shortstop job

Lowrie

By Evan Brunell

After a four-hit day, Jed Lowrie has to be the new starting shortstop for the Red Sox, right?

Maybe.

There's no question Lowrie is off to a scorching start, as his .516 batting average in 31 at-bats shows. He's also contributed four extra-base hits and has provided steady defense. For at least the next few games, Lowrie will have a chance to wrench the starting job away from Marco Scutaro, who has started the season slowly.

Even the caveat of small sample size for Lowrie doesn't quite apply, as Lowrie ended 2010 turning heads upon his return from mononucleosis. Once a promising player who looked as if he could be a solid utility fielder, Lowrie has instead cut down on his strikeouts and juiced up the power unexpectedly. Lowrie's debut in the majors four years ago wasn't quite representative of his power stroke as he was still working through a wrist injury that cost him most of 2009. However, no one could have anticipated this much power for Lowrie.

All told, since last July 21, when Lowrie returned to the Red Sox, he's hitting .322/.404/.564 in 230 plate appearances.

Impressive? You don't know the half of it. Using the Day by Day Database at Baseball Musings for data through Sunday night, it's revealed that Jed Lowrie has been the second-most productive shortstop (according to the traditional slash stats) since his return from mono. Yes, that's right, Lowrie ranks ahead of such luminaries as Hanley Ramirez. The only person to best Lowrie is Troy Tulowitzki and his insane .331/.407/.672 line.

So will Lowrie continue to start? Of course, but if he tails off, the door will be wide open for Marco Scutaro to stroll right on through. You see, despite Lowrie's hitting, Scutaro possesses the better glove according to scouts and statistically, is Scutaro's equal, at best. Given shortstop is perhaps the most valuable defensive position, Scutaro's going to get his crack at getting his bat going to impact the game on both sides of the ball. Lowrie isn't a butcher in the field, though, so Scoot's going to have to really step up his game, but will get plenty of chances to do so.

Scutaro remains the starting shortstop even if it's name only, and that's an important distinction to make in Boston. Manager Terry Francona is the type of manager who is slow to make moves in the regular season even as the Red Sox have scrambled to get their house in order after a brutal 2-10 start. He's going to want to get Scutaro plenty of playing time because it will only improve the club, even if Scutaro stays in a utility role. That's why the club's departure on a West Coast trip comes as quite good timing -- Francona can start Scutaro over Lowrie without risking the ire of impatient fans.

But in case it hasn't been made apparent yet, Jed Lowrie is the future at shortstop, at least of the short-term variety. There's certainly a big question as to whether he will remain the future, as top prospect Jose Iglesias could be ready to start as early as 2012. That's a problem the Red Sox would love to have.

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Posted on: April 10, 2011 12:52 pm
 

Scutaro vs. Lowrie debate intensifies

By Matt Snyder

Throughout the offseason and spring, there was a large fan movement for the Red Sox to play Jed Lowrie over Marco Scutaro at shortstop. The rationale is pretty simple, actually. Lowrie is a better hitter, is only a slightly worse defensive player and is about 7 1/2 years younger than the 35-year-old Scutaro.

Considering the rough beginning by the entire Red Sox team, including the offense, games like Saturday will only help to fan the flames in favor of Lowrie.

In just his second start of the season, Lowrie went 3-4. He's hitting .364 with a .780 OPS in the exceptionally small 12-plate-appearance sample thus far. He did have a .907 OPS last season, though, in his limited time (197 plate appearances). Scutaro is just 3-21 with no extra base hits and one walk this season, giving him an anemic line of .143/.182/.143.

As the Red Sox scuffle and Terry Francona attempts to tweak the lineup and find something that works, it would behoove him to give Lowrie an extended look.

In the meantime, there will continue to be plenty of discussions on the matter , as the best argument to keep Scutaro in the lineup -- that he's a good clubhouse guy -- isn't really a good one.

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com