This has been a strange season for a lot of people and for a variety of reasons. Jed Lowrie is no exception. The former PawSox standout was penciled in at shortstop for the Boston Red Sox as they began their quest for a 2009 World Series title. Jed earned his “stripes” after his 2008 callup. It was a promotion that culminated with him getting the series clinching hit against the Angels in the A.L.D.S. at Fenway. Hampered by wrist problems, Lowrie opted eventually for surgery and figured his troubles were behind him. Lately, he has been bothered by ulnar neuritis, which he describes as “numbness from his pinkie to just below the elbow.” Lowries’ rehab assignment with the PawSox got off to a rousing start on Monday night, as he homered into the right-centerfield bleachers at McCoy. His home run was the answer to a solo shot hit by Lehigh Valley outfielder, John Mayberry, Jr. son of former All Star John Mayberry. Jr. also happens to be one of Jeds’ best friends. The two were teammates and roommates while attending Stanford. Prior to the game I sat down with Jed and we talked about his “lost season.” Of course, I wanted to know how he was feeling. “Obviously, the season has not gone as planned, but sometimes that happens. I’m doing the best I can dealing with it, communicating with the training staff and the doctors to make sure my wrist is continually getting better. As much of a lost season as it’s been, I feel I have been able to accomplish a few things as well.” Lowries adds that physically, he feels much better now than he did during his last rehab assignment. “Last time I was here, I really wasn’t able to work out a lot. I was focused on the wrist. Whether mentally I didn’t want to do anything, or physically I couldn’t, I really had a hard time working out. All my rehab efforts were going into getting my wrist better and as a result it took a toll on my body.” The physical end aside, Jed says dealing with the mental aspects of a long layoff is just as demanding. “I feel like I’ve taken a pretty good, steady approach to this. Every day, just find something to get better at. I know when I’m up there and I don’t feel right. You’re out there and you’re being judged by everybody and that’s fine. I know that if I keep doing what I need to do to get back and get stronger and don’t feel impeded by my wrist, I’ll be fine.” Lowrie says there are some positives to be gained from his ordeal. “I felt like I’ve maintained a good approach, I am still confident in my abilities and I know I’m a good player. I’ll get better and things will be good.” As with any “thoroughbred” one of the hardest thngs is to watch your team struggle without you. The Red Sox have tried all season to fill the shortstop position with the likes of Julio Lugo, Nick Green, Chris Woodward and now Alex Gonzalez. Lowrie has been forced to sit on the sidelines and watch the parade of replacements march past. “That’s the thing. Coming out of Spring Training, I’d had such a good spring, I felt great and my world was basically flipped upside down on me, finding out that surgery was probably the best path to take- that’s how this game works. It’s a business. If I’m not able to go out there and perform as the shortstop every day, they’ve got to go out to find someone who can play every day and perform. They’re doing their best to get the best guy for the job right now. I’ve got to be patient and try to get myself ready and if it’s not for this year, I’ll be ready for next year.” Lowrie knows time is of the essence as September is just around the corner and he felt like he’d know fairly quickly what his fate might be. “3 or 4 games. As long as I don’t have any pain or numbness in my hands, that’s a good indicator for me. That’s what happened to me a couple of times in Boston. My hand was going numb. As long as that’s not happening, I would feel pretty confident about it.” Lowrie looked smooth and comfortable at short and with the home run, looked like he had some good “pop” in his bat. With a little luck, Jed Lowrie will be able to help Boston make a push for the postseason.