TODAY: Speaking to reporters (including Newsday’s Tim Healey) on Saturday, Van Wagenen didn’t say whether Lowrie was still suffering from only his hamstring problem, or if he was dealing with a re-aggravation of his original knee issue, or another injury altogether. “I’m not going to get into any more details beyond the fact that his left side needs to be working in concert with each other,” the Mets GM said. “The knee to the hamstring, we want to make sure that the kinetic chain is working together and that his posture and his functionality is working.”
THURSDAY: Infielder Jed Lowrie was one of the Mets’ most significant acquisitions of the winter, when they signed the former Athletic to a two-year, $20MM contract. Lowrie still hasn’t debuted with his new club since suffering a knee strain in February, though, and his return to the majors isn’t on the horizon.
Although Lowrie’s knee has healed, he incurred a hamstring strain last month that continues to prevent him from taking the field. Updating Lowrie’s status Thursday, Mets manager Mickey Callaway said the 35-year-old is “not close” to embarking on a rehab assignment, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
Durability issues have been all too common for Lowrie since he began his career with the Red Sox in 2008, though he enjoyed healthy seasons in Oakland from 2017-18. During that two-year period, the switch-hitting Lowrie appeared in 310 of a possible 324 regular-season games, amassed 1,325 plate appearances and slashed .272/.356/.448 (121 wRC+) with 37 home runs. Going by fWAR (8.5), Lowrie was the league’s third-most valuable second baseman in his final two seasons with the A’s.
Lowrie parlayed his late-career renaissance into his high-paying deal with the Mets, who were expecting more of the same. Whether it was a wise allocation of resources on rookie general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s part is debatable. After all, the Lowrie signing came on the heels of the acquisitions of two other infielders – Robinson Cano and J.D. Davis – and the Mets also had Jeff McNeil and Todd Frazier on hand to compete for second and third base spots. As it turns out, the currently injured Cano has been among the Mets’ biggest disappointments this season, while Davis, McNeil and Frazier (especially McNeil) rank as three of their most productive contributors.
The Mets’ major commitment to Cano and the success Davis, McNeil and Frazier have enjoyed further call into question how Lowrie will fit on their roster if he does return. He’s not going to usurp first base from NL Rookie of the Year favorite Pete Alonso, nor does Lowrie seem likely to take over shortstop (where he hasn’t played extensively since 2014) for Amed Rosario. Meanwhile, the Mets have two cornerstone corner outfielders in Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo (also injured), and first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith has been tremendous in a part-time role.