27 April 2006

Lowrie/ *LESTER* Update No. 4

Update time- remember, too, that Buchholz is on the DL, and we're using Lester as a backup until his return...

JED LOWRIE | 2B/ SS | B:S T:R | 22 YO | HI-A WILM.


Well, after a half-decent start, Lowrie's really taken a beating, with his most recent valley being last night's 0-for-5 with 2 strikeouts. He's not done much- no power, not getting on base, and isn't making a ton of contact. He is walking at a decent clip, but when he makes contact, he's doing nothing with it. Still really early, though, and there has been a spate of weather issues in the Carolina League as well.

He's picked up a couple stolen bases since the last update, but another thing to keep an eye on is his defense. Through 20 games, Lowrie already has 6 errors. Keep in mind he's getting (somewhat) readjusted to SS, but he'll have to cut down on those.

Also, no Journal update recently.



So, Lester started last night in Pawtucket against the Durham Bulls, Tampa Bay's AAA affiliate that features Delmon Young, BJ Upton, and Elijah Dukes. They're a pretty potent MiLB offense.

Lester's line: 3.1 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K, HR; 59 pitches, 38 for strikes.

Out Distribution:
GB: 1
FB: 3
SO: 4

59 pitches isn't a whole lot, but after an odd first inning (more on this later), Lester held his composure and only gave up a run on Elijah Dukes' HR in the 4th. Then, striking out the next batter, Lester was pulled. I thought he'd be getting extended a bit by now, but with how he's struggled, they may have preferred to get him out on a positive note and move on.

The first inning was strange- first, Lester gets leadoff hitter Darnell McDonald to pop up, only to be dropped by 2B Alejandro Machado. Lester then walks BJ Upton, and strikes out Delmon Young looking. Here's where it gets strange. Young starts to argue- for a decent amount of time- before finally getting thrown out. After starting to walk back to his dugout, Young turned and threw his bat at the umpire, hitting him in the chest. Reports are varying on the force of the throw, but it appears he sort of "tossed" it, as opposed to really firing at him. Still, something in the 40-60 game suspension neighborhood isn't out of the realm of possibility.

Lester then picked Upton off 1st.

Overall, a good start. They'll need to start extending him a bit, and his cutting down on BBs- only one this time out- is a good start. Keeping the ball on the ground too is a must. He may be leaving balls up and still struggling with his command. Worth keeping an eye on.

Despite his rough start this year, About.com's Scott Thompson has named Lester the 24th best prospect in baseball (means next to nothing, unfortunately). The Globe reports that Epstein, Hoyer and Cherington were at the game last night to see Lester, and Pedroia as well, presumably. It was a pretty big day in Pawtucket as well, as Craig Hansen was promoted to Pawtucket, probably because he was no longer being blocked as "relief ace" with Delcarmen now in Boston.

Lester's next start looks to be May 1st, in Ottawa against the Lynx, the Orioles AAA affiliate.

Tuesday, April 4th
Friday, April 7th
Friday, April 14th
Wednesday, April 19th

Once again, prospect talk in the comments section is much appreciated. I'll be doing a full system (more or less) report at the beginning of each month, too.

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