Mike Lowell is definitely retired and “hip replacement is most likely inevitable”

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Rob Bradford of WEEI.com caught up with Mike Lowell, who made it clear that he’s definitely retired and revealed that his surgically repaired hip “has gone a little bit downhill.”

Lowell underwent surgery on his right hip following the 2008 season and recent X-rays showed that “it has gotten progressively worse.”

Here’s more from Lowell, who hit .239 with a .674 OPS in a part-time role for the Red Sox last year:

Without medication or pain management I don’t think I can run 50 yards right now, I know I can’t. I don’t want to be taking meds to go about my day-to-day life. I feel like my quality of life is going down a little bit. I want to teach my kid how to run the bases in Little League instead of just standing there. It seems trivial but it bothers me that I can’t do it.

Bradford writes that Lowell “understands that a hip replacement is most likely inevitable” and the four-time All-Star explained that he doesn’t regret using “anti-inflammatories and pain medication” to get through last season even if it wasn’t “the greatest thing for the hip” long term.

Lowell became a full-time player for the Marlins in 2000 and ceased being a regular for the Red Sox after 2009. During that decade-long stretch he ranked seventh among third baseman in Wins Above Replacement, trailing only Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones, Scott Rolen, Eric Chavez, Adrian Beltre, and Troy Glaus.

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.