Jed Lowrie's 2009 was about as bad as it could have possibly been.
The 25-year-old is hoping to avoid a similar fate in 2010.
After a successful rookie campaign in which he went error-free at the shortstop position, Lowrie's second year can only be described as a wasted season. After suffering from lingering wrist issues all year, Lowrie is still facing the possibility of another procedure, according to the Boston Herald.
?It really depends on what the doctor says,? Lowrie told the newspaper on Monday. ?I don?t know what the surgery would be if there were to be one, but I guess it?s not out of the question.?
Lowrie's issues stem from a nondisplaced wrist fracture, which he played with through the end of the 2008 season and could be an explanation for his .213 batting average in September and .207 average in the playoffs (he was batting .278 through August). He returned in a big way to spring training, threatening to steal Julio Lugo's starting job while batting .343 with eight doubles, two triples, three home runs and 16 RBIs.
He had 67 at-bats in spring training. He would only have 68 at-bats in the regular season.
He underwent wrist surgery after playing just five regular-season games. His return was hampered after he was hit by a pitch in the knee in a rehab start. Once he did return, a check swing tweaked his wrist again, and he went back to the DL.
?I really feel that I?ve only been healthy for a month that I?ve been up here,? Lowrie said. ?[The wrist] really stopped me from getting consistent work and consistent playing time.?
The shortstop situation is compounded by Alex Gonzalez's arrival in Boston. Since joining the Red Sox on Aug. 15, Gonzalez hit .284 while playing his usual stellar defense. The Red Sox wouldn't mind having him back, and with Lowrie's uncertain health, doing so may not be a bad idea.
?Lowrie is an important factor for us,? general manager Theo Epstein said Monday at the team's news conference. ?This is a young player we really believe in, but who has been hurt as a big league player. We have not seen the type of player he can be yet, because he?s been playing hurt the entire time.
"But at some point, he has to get healthy to be able to show what he can do and be able to help the organization. I don?t think we can hand the job to him, because he hasn?t proved his health yet at this point."
Lowrie appears to be up to the challenge.
?In spring training, [competing to be the starting shortstop is] my goal every year,? he said. ?I guess the opportunity to do that is all I?m asking for.?