Get Lowrie back from Astros to fill Lucchino Loophole at SS

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Since, in his desperation to obtain his former 4-year employee John Farrell from Toronto, Larry Lucchino gave away the team’s starting SS, it’s time for GM Cherington to speed dial Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow to obtain Jed Lowrie [remember him?] for prospects; since Houston is in “rebuilding” mode, maybe they would take a pair of Carpenters.

LISTEN:

Jed Lowrie (knee) was pleased with the progress of his right knee and was happy to be able to play back-to-back nine-inning games on Sept. 18 and 19, in St. Louis without having any issues. Lowrie continues to build up strength in his legs after missing 52 games with an injury to his right ankle and leg. The Astros are taking it slow with Lowrie to make sure they don’t jeopardize his health. “My knee feels 100 percent,” Lowrie said. “My knee feels great. I think it’s a matter of getting into shape where I can play every day. That’s something that, in my estimation and from what the doctors and the training staff have told me, is completely expected.”

http://www.kffl.com/gnews.php?id=812199-astros-jed-lowrie-insists-his-knee-feels-fine

2013 Status 1st-Year Arb Eligible, Earliest Arb Eligible: 2013, Earliest Free Agent: 2015

Recall the astute observation by Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos:

“If you look at the free-agent market right now with respect to shortstop, second base, it’s just so thin,”

Consider this shallow, tepid FA pool:

Jason Bartlett, Yuniesky Betancourt, Ronny Cedeno, Stephen Drew, Alex Gonzalez, Cesar Izturis, Jhonny Peralta, Luis Rodriguez

Then, of course, there is former Sox SS Marco Scutaro [remember him?], who won the NL Championship Series MVP award last night.

Or, maybe Lucchino has purchased Rob Hobbs’ bat, “Wonderboy,” on eBay for Jose “Can you Swing” Iglesias?

Or is he counting on Ivan de Jesus [BA .205], to be his savior.  Sorry, Larry,  but he’s a 2B, who can play 3B or SS in a pinch.

Oh, Larry must have a Red Sox prospect in mind.

Although Xander Boegarts will likely be a Top Ten hitter with some power; he will not be the Sox SS of the future.  When he becomes too slow and heavy for SS and is blocked at 3b by Middlebrooks, he might be sent to the OF, or, perhaps he could be the solution to the Sox 1b vacancy?

SCOUTING REPORT: Slightly above-average arm.  Solid-average range, but losing foot speed as he gets bigger.   Needs to slow the game down defensively and resist the feeling to rush plays. Inconsistent with footwork and staying down on the ball.  Choppy at times with his movements and reactions.

http://www.soxprospects.com/players/bogaerts-xander.htm

Jose Vinicio, Salem Red Sox

Scouting Report: Small-framed Dominican shortstop, signed to a big bonus at the age of sixteen. Outstanding present defensive tools with above-average range, quick hands, and a solid-average arm. Has the potential for more arm strength as he adds overall body strength. Also has strong technique and instincts. Tends to needlessly rush plays that lead to unforced errors. Should tighten up as he continues to mature. Shows a lot of confidence and swagger in the field. Projects to remain at shortstop. Above-average speed. Switch hitter. Produces good bat speed from both sides of the plate, but head of the bat drags some due to lack of strength. Swing is much more fluid as a lefty. Generates plus bat speed and gets the head of the bat out front of the ball to produce backspin.

http://www.soxprospects.com/players/vinicio-jose.htm

Solid prospect, but sorry Larry, he’s only 19 with 72 games played in the low minors.

Pawtucket [AAA] lists “Acquisition” at SS.  This vacant slot could be filled by 2012 Round One (24th) draft choice Deven Marrero, ranked #11 on the Sox prospect chart.  Although he is only 22 and projected for 2015, his training and experience at the top-rated Arizona State baseball program, resulted in preternatural baseball maturity; was named an All-Star in the prestigious Cape Cod League when he was only a Sophomore at ASU.

Among a host of honors and awards during his ASU career, Marrero was selected for Collegiate Baseball First Team Freshman All-American and was 2011 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and First Team Pac-12 All-Conference.  In 2012 he was selected for First Team Pac-12 All-Conference.

With the Red Sox’ Lowell Spinners in the 2012 New York-Penn League Marrero had a solid year offensively in 62 games:  BA .268, OBP .358, SLG. 374, OPS .732.  His W/K ratio was an impressive 34/48 and he stole 24 bases.  In just 62 games [about 38% of a full season] he scored 45 runs, knocked in 24 runs with 2 HRs, 14 doubles and 3 triples.

MLB.com says:

Marrero entered the 2012 college season as one of the top college position players in the Draft class. A down year offensively left some concerned, but it wasn’t enough to make the Red Sox pass on him at No. 24 and sending him to the New York-Penn League for his pro debut. Marrero’s glove is what really stands out. He will undoubtedly stay at shortstop and will be a plus defender. He has a great arm, hands and range and he maximizes those tools with terrific instincts.

He has shown some ability with the bat in the past, a line-drive gap hitter with a little power potential. Marrero has decent speed and can be a heads up baserunner as well. The glove alone should get him to the big leagues. If the bat bounces back, he has the chance to be more of an impact player at a premium position.

And the bat did bounce back when Marrero played his first minor league games in the NY-PA League.

Bleacher Report’s Benjamin Klein in “5 Reasons Deven Marrero Will Develop into a Superstar,” lists these attributes:

He Knows How to Handle Himself [Ed. Arizona State experience.]

He’s an Awesome Fielder [Ed. "The Next" Petrocelli.]

He’ll Start Hitting Again [Ed. He did in NY-Penn League.]

Not a Ton of Pressure on Him [Ed. like Iglesias.]

History Will Repeat Itself: The last time the Boston Red Sox selected a player out of Arizona State, it was a tiny shortstop by the name of Dustin Pedroia.

[http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1205681-5-reasons-deven-marrero-will-develop-into-a-red-sox-superstar]

To solve the problem that Lucchino created by “solving” his manager problem, Cherington needs to:

Obtain Jed Lowrie to fill in for 2-3 years at SS and let Iglesias star in the role of Golden Glove late-inning-replacement SS.

Recognize that Boegarts will maximize his offense by playing at a less demanding defensive position, 1b, and begin that transition in 2013.

Begin to phase in the SS of the Future, Deven Marrero, in 2014.

Or, they can go with Lucchino’s plan to shove The Glove into the SS slot in 2013, let Iglesias hit just above .200, until the All-Star game, and then rush into the Desperately Seeking Shortstop mode, again, and scramble to fill the hole created when Lucchino, heedlessly, gave away his starting SS, Mike Aviles, to obtain his “boy” John Farrell.

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PHOTO SOURCE:  Pinterest, The Methodist Hospital System; http://media-cache0.pinterest.com/upload/79516749641278511_UzZW28Bb_c.jpg.

Cropped by Earl Nash, BSI.

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Tags: Ben Cherington Jed Lowrie John Farrell Jose Iglesias Larry Lucchino Mike Aviles Xander Bogaerts

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