Lowell is progressing
His next steps are sprinting, hitting
Mike Lowell is feeling pretty chipper these days. No small point.
It’s Lowell’s health or lack thereof that will likely determine whether the Red Sox trade for a hitter. The Sox will have many options if Lowell can’t return to form. But if he can - Lowell was enthusiastic after hitting off a tee yesterday - the Sox won’t need to deal prospects to bring in a slugger.
The Sox have been scouting several hitters, including Victor Martinez, Garrett Atkins, Chad Tracy, Nick Johnson, and Mark Teahen. They would pull the trigger on a corner infielder if Lowell shows signs he can’t last once he returns after the All-Star break.
Lowell will start sprinting and face live batting practice today, the next steps in his recovery.
“I think I’m going to hit outside [today],’’ Lowell said. “That’s kind of the course they mapped out at the beginning so, we’ll see. I still have my fingers crossed. I’ll see how I react after [today] because that will be real swings. I know when I’m walking during the day how it feels taking a step here and there. I was told by the end of the week I’d be feeling a lot better and here it is Thursday and I feel great.’’
Lowell is glad he went on the disabled list, but said, “If it was September after the shot and we needed these games I’d have played. I don’t think I would have felt as good as I do now, but under the circumstances it was the right decision. The fact we’re stealing four more days and not missing games, I think all of those things were in my favor.’’
The running will be the big thing today.
“The impact of running is what tends to affect everything else,’’ he said. “I think they wanted to see me fielding a ball and they did that. They wanted to see how I made the throw and I did that fine,’’ he said.
The Sox could get into the bidding given their resources and the number of prospects in the system. But right now Boston does not appear to view Halladay as a major need though his name will be discussed in organizational meetings over the next couple of days.
Mauer said he was a little nervous about catching Wakefield.
Mauer told the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “I’d rather be hitting against it than catching it. If you swing and miss it’s not a big deal, or not that big of a deal. I’m bringing my glove along, if that’s what you’re asking. I’ll do my best, but we’ll see. I’ll probably be pretty nervous.’’ Mauer catches knuckleballer R.A. Dickey with the Twins, which should help.
Wakefield laughed about Mauer’s concern but understood it.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at email@example.com.