THE RETURN OF THE JED (THE NEXT CHAPTER)

     It’s always nice to see Jed Lowrie.  Ever since his first stint with the PawSox in 2007, he’s been a hard-working, no nonsense type of guy.  I don’t think Jed especially enjoys dealing with the media and all the hoopla that accompanies being a part of the Red Sox machine, but he always makes time and does so in a pleasant way.  You could forgive him if he isn’t smiling these days, again at McCoy Stadium, rehabbing his shoulder strain and trying to make his return to Boston.  Lowrie has played at Pawtucket in parts of 5 straight years.  In 2007 and 2008 he was a rising prospect.  In the three seasons since he has battled a broken wrist, mononucleosis and now the shoulder, all requiring rehab assignments. 

     The first question for any M.L. rehabber is obvious.  “I feel good.  That’s why I’m here, to get my timing back, be healthy and ready to go.”  Lowrie talked about how he sustained the injury.  “It started with a collision with Carl (Crawford) and then I aggravated it a couple of days later with a swing.”  I was just chatting with Jed and made an offhand comment about being back here.  His response was typical.  “No big deal.”  He explained.  “The types of injuries I’ve sustained will come when you play the game hard, and play the game the right way.  It’s all a part of it.”  Lowrie has always had the calm and almost stoic demeanor.  “You deal with it.  You get healthy and get back.”

     Lowrie is not completely unflappabale.  He had an answer when he was asked about what could set him off.  “I get frustrated when something I am trying to do isn’t working, especially on the baseball field.  When I set my mind to something and I can’t do it, that’s frustrating.” 

     Another thing I know about Jed Lowrie is that he is a confident young man.  Rightfully so.  When healthy, he is a force to be reckoned with.  Lowrie got off to a great start in 2011, earniong the shortstop job and helping carry the Red Sox through their early season woes.  Understandably, he was pleased.  “I was very happy.   I think that’s what makes this years’ injury so frustrating, because I was playing well, but like I said, it’s part of the game.”

     Although the PawSox had Wednesday off, Lowrie was still hard at it.  He was at Fenway, taking batting practice with his Major League teammates.  Given the A.L. East battle his club’s involved in, you can understand why Jed is so eager to return.  “I’ve been sitting there and just watching for the last 5 weeks, watching all the runs being scored.  Just good baseball.  It’s fun and you want ot be a part of it.”

     Because he has endured a lot of time on the disabled list, some may forget his “signature” moment.  In the 2008 ALDS against the Angels, Lowrie had the walkoff, game winning hit that propelled the Red Sox into the ALCS.  Lowrie relishes another shot at postseason glory.  “I look forward to it.  There are ‘big moments’ to be had.  It’s always exciting.  That’s why you play the game, to be in the playoffs and have an opportunity to win the World Series.  Lowries’ attitude is “why not me?”  “You have to have the confidence in your self to step up to the plate and know that you can get the job done in those types of situations.  I’ve created a comfort zone for myself so that I am able to produce in those spots.”

     Lowrie has managed to maintain his sense of humor.  We wondered what it might be like for him to play an entire year without rehabbing at Pawtucket.  “That would be ideal.  I got off to a great start this year.  I wasn’t expecting this, but like I said, it happens.”  He chuckled. “One of these days, maybe I won’t be here.”

     I told him the same thing I probably told him when he was with the PawSox the last couple of stints.  “It’s always great to see you, but just not under these circumstances.”

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