UPDATE: Red Sox place Jed Lowrie on disabled list with shoulder injury

3 Comments

UPDATE: Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox have placed Lowrie on the disabled list. Drew Sutton has been called up from Triple-A Pawtucket.

9:08 AM: Jed Lowrie, who has been bothered by a left shoulder injury since colliding with teammate Carl Crawford on May 29, could be headed for the disabled list after leaving last night’s game in the first inning.

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Lowrie told Red Sox manager Terry Francona that he feared the joint “slipped out” of his shoulder when he struck out against Rays lefty David Price with the bases loaded.

“I don’t really know what’s going on,” Lowrie said. “I just know what I felt. I certainly wasn’t this sore (previously).”

Lowrie underwent an MRI last week which revealed no structural damage in the shoulder. He is expected to undergo further testing today to determine why he continues to have discomfort.

While Lowrie was the best thing since sliced bread in April, he is batting just .128 since the collision with Crawford. He is hitless over his last 15 at-bats, which has pulled his batting average down to .270 for the year.

Drew Sutton was pulled after seven innings in last night’s game with Triple-A Pawtucket, which could be an indication that a roster move is on the way.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.