Alex Speier takes a look at the Mike Lowell situation and wonders if the notion that the Sox are going to trade him is all wet. After running through just about every potential trade partner and finding the fit less-than-ideal, he notes:
Clearly, the potential fits are few, particularly given the Sox’ desire
that another team pay for a meaningful portion of Lowell’s contract.
Most teams addressed their positional needs during the winter. And for
now, the team has shown little inclination to simply dump Lowell, since
unlike Julio Lugo (who was unceremoniously designated for assignment last summer), he still has potential value to the Sox.
I’m less pessimistic that the Sox can find a willing partner than is Speier — Texas still seems like a potential fit to me, and it’s not like Anaheim has ever shown tons of patience with Brandon Wood — but he’s right in saying that treating Lowell like some dead man walking in Sox camp is probably the wrong move at present.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.