Lowrie to Seek Second Opinion on Shoulder

According to Ian Browne of MLB.com, Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie is traveling to California on Tuesday to receive a second opinion on his ailing right shoulder from Dr. Lewis Yocum.  Though the injury is being classified as a strained right left shoulder, Terry Francona explained the team’s motivation for allowing Lowrie to seek a second opinion.

“He’ll have the pictures and he’ll see him in person, which I think we feel like, there’s no reason for him not to go. He’s not playing anyway. Let’s have him examined in person, and that will be good.”

While I agree with the sentiment of Francona’s statement, it understates the potential severity of Lowrie’s injury.  In all honesty, players rarely seek second opinions on relatively minor injuries that have little to no chance of requiring surgery.  Furthermore, they rarely see the holy trinity of sports surgeons (Yocum, Dr. James Andrews, and Dr. Frank Jobe) unless there’s a legitimate structural concern.  SI’s injury expert Will Carroll‘s (via Sean McAdam of NECN.com) latest report only intensifies this belief; he said surgery was “more a likelihood than a possibility.”  In other words, it could be a while before we see Lowrie back on the field.

So what does this mean for the Red Sox?  For now, not a whole lot.  Marco Scutaro will reassume his role as the starting shortstop, and Drew Sutton will likely remain as his back-up and utility infielder.  Since returning from the disabled list on June 7th, Scutaro’s hit very well, producing a .364/.417/.523 line in 11 games.  Clearly, he won’t be able to keep up that pace, but it gives hope he’s adjusted from whatever was causing him to perform so poorly earlier in the season.

While the Red Sox could look to deal for a shortstop somewhere around the July 31st trading deadline, that seems unlikely.  With the Phillies being serious World Series contenders, they’re unlikely to trade 2007 MVP Jimmy Rollins.  Though the Mets appear to be in “selling” mode, the cost for three time All-Star Jose Reyes is likely to be prohibitive; especially in light of the treasure trove of prospects the Red Sox dealt to San Diego in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez.  Outside of those two players, the oft-injured Rafael Furcal; the OBP-challenged Alex Gonzalez; the everything challenged Yuniesky Betancourt are the best options available,* and I’m not convinced any of them are upgrades over Scutaro.  Unless a cheap, viable dark horse candidate emerges, the Red Sox will likely remain with the Scutaro/Lowrie combo for the remainder of 2011.

* I purposely left J.J. Hardy off of that list because he’s unlikely to be traded to a division rival without the Red Sox paying a huge premium.  Also, there are rumors flying about that the Orioles are looking into signing him to a long-term extension.

Categories: Boston Red Sox Drew Sutton Jed Lowrie Marco Scutaro

After being slapped with a restraining order for stealing Nick Cafardo's mail, I was forced into retirement for a brief period of time. As fun as it was to lounge around the community pool and play shuffleboard with noted internet columnist, Murray Chass, I quickly felt a yearning to write again. Now in my second tenure with Fire Brand, I have set lofty goals of achieving world domination, ending the plight of the hipsters, and becoming BFFs with Mike Trout. I am fluent in two languages (Sarcasm and English, in that order); have an intimate relationship with M&Ms; firmly believe that Lucille is the best character on Arrested Development; and spend my spare time trolling select members of the Boston media. You can follow me on Twitter @Chip_Buck.

10 Responses to “Lowrie to Seek Second Opinion on Shoulder” Subscribe

  1. donna June 21, 2011 at 3:27 PM #

    it would be silly to trade for a SS now,… why not bring up Iglesias if all else failed? i would hate to see more farm talent go away, esp. for a temp stopgap situation.

  2. Walt in Maryland June 21, 2011 at 4:13 PM #

    Yamaico Navarro has started playing again for Pawtucket after a lengthy DL stint, and has been absolutely smoking the ball this season. If Lowrie were to miss 4-6 weeks, some combination of Scutaro, Navarro and Sutton should be able to handle the job. The Sox also could promote Iglesias, enjoy his defense and carry his bat.

    • ChipBuck June 21, 2011 at 4:25 PM #

      Walt – Navarro would be a very interesting possibility as well. Good call on that. As for Iglesias, I seriously doubt we see again until September. He needs to prove he can hit in AAA even a little bit before he'll have a serious shot of sticking in Boston.

  3. tom-uk June 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM #

    Hey chip

    Most sources have it as a left shoulder injury, which makes more sense b/c his throwing was fine. I wouldn't read much into multiple medical opinions considering the mis-diagnosis of his wrist and his best bud Ellsbury's latisimus.

  4. ChipBuck June 21, 2011 at 9:29 PM #

    @Tom – You are absolutely correct. It was his left shoulder. Duly noted and corrected. Thanks Tom. Hope things are going well for you!

  5. Walt in Maryland June 22, 2011 at 1:46 PM #

    The more interesting shortstop questions will come in the off-season.

    It seems to be there's a three-position collison coming that will affect Youkilis, Iglesias, Lowrie and Ortiz. One of those four isn't going to have a chair when the music stops.

    Here are the options:

    1. Re-sign Papi to DH, keep Youks at 3B and Lowrie at SS. More Triple A time for Iglesias.

    2. Let Papi leave, make Youks the primary DH (and 3B-1B) backup, Iglesias at SS, Lowrie at 3B (where he could be a Bill Mueller-type player). Much beter defense and roster/paytoll flexibility, but we've lost a huge bat.

    3. Re-sign Papi, keep Youks at 3B, give the SS job to Iglesias. Lowrie a backup or trade bait.

    • Walt in Maryland June 22, 2011 at 3:13 PM #

      Should have added another option.

      4. Acquire a shorstop from outside the organization. Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins and Rafael Furcall will all be free agents this winter.

      • ChipBuck June 22, 2011 at 5:31 PM #

        I think Papi goes; Youk moves to DH; Lowrie to 3B; and a short term solution goes in at SS. Maybe they even pick up Scutaro's option for 2012. If they re-sign Papi, I see the current alignment sticking.

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