By Joe Christensen
I must have written Jed Lowrie’s name 25 times last winter, when tracking the Johan Santana trade discussions. Who knows how serious the Red Sox were about actually trading him to the Twins?
We have since heard that while the Red Sox offered CF Jacoby Ellsbury and LHP Jon Lester in separate packages, the offers dropped off quickly if either one of them were included. In other words, the Twins could have had Ellsbury or Lester, but we’re not so certain they could have had Ellsbury, Lowrie and RHP Justin Masterson, just as they couldn’t have had Lester, Lowrie and Masterson.
This is why we often heard the words “moving parts” associated with Boston’s offers.
Anyway, I saw Lowrie play a few times during spring training and wasn’t overly impressed. But he is off to a good start since being promoted from Class AAA Pawtucket to help fill the void left when 3B Mike Lowell sprained his left thumb. Lowrie is batting .375 (6-for-16), and through six games, he has played second base, third base and shortstop. Here’s an excerpt from a recent Nick Cafardo column in the Boston Globe.
Lowrie is a switch hitter who is being compared to former Red Sox batting champion Bill Mueller. He’s even heard comparisons to Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts, though he doesn’t appear to have Roberts’s speed. He says he’s a natural righthanded hitter but doesn’t favor either side. In fact he made a point to say every day he comes to the park he feels a little different with his hitting.
Every now and then, it’ll be fun to check in on some of those names from the Santana Winter. To be clear, I am not drawing any conclusions now. I realize these sample sizes are ridiculously small. But it’s interesting to see how they’ve started 2008 after all that hype:
Melky Cabrera: .281-.358-.456 (3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 SB for the Yankees)
Phil Hughes: 0-3, 8.82 ERA (4GS, 10 K, 10 BB for the Yankees)
Ian Kennedy: 0-2,9.64 ERA (4 GS, 13 K, 13 BB for the Yankees)
These two RHPs are part of the reason Hank Steinbrenner had his latest rant about inserting Joba Chamberlain into the starting rotation.
Jacoby Ellsbury: 277-.444-.404 (1 HR, 7 RBI, 8 SB for the Red Sox)
Jon Lester: 1-2, 5.06 ERA (5 GS, 15 K, 17 BB for the Red Sox)
Justin Masterson: 1-0, 0.95 (4 GS, 23 K, 5 BB for Class AA Portland)
And, finally, the four players the Twins actually obtained for Santana:
Carlos Gomez: .244-.262-.329 (0 HR, 5 RBI, 9 SB for the Twins)
Philip Humber: 0-2, 5.09 ERA (4 GS, 10 K, 9 BB for Class AAA Rochester)
Kevin Mulvey: 2-1, 1.02 ERA (3 GS, 20 K, 3 BB for Class AAA Rochester)
Deolis Guerra: 2-0, 1.42 ERA (4 G, 3 GS, 15 K, 9 BB for Class A Fort Myers)
Almost forgot the man himself:
Johan Santana: 2-2, 3.25 ERA (4GS, 28 K, 4 BB for the Mets. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this guy has some potential!)