On Friday night after the Hot Stove Cool Music roundtable, Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was asked about who will be the Red Sox shortstop in 2011, Marco Scutaro or Jed Lowrie.
Here’s what Epstein had to say:
“I think we have two really talented shortstops on the roster at different phases of their career and they’ll both end up helping this club win. How it shakes out in terms of playing time will be up to (manager Terry Francona) and ultimately the players will determine their own roles.”
“No, I’m not saying that,” Epstein said. “Scutaro signed here to be a shortstop and he should be healthy when he comes to camp and he’s going to play a lot of shortstop. We’re not good enough where we can’t use every available resource that we have.
“Jed Lowrie is someone who can play a good shortstop and can play a number of positions to help this team win. I’m sure he’s going to see some time at shortstop. Marco was our shortstop last year and until something changes, that’s how it’s going to be. I’m just making the point that we believe in both guys.”
As we saw last year, Scutaro battled shoulder problems all season long while Lowrie missed a good portion of the season after a bout of mono during spring training in 2010. Scutaro ended up moving to second base to help his shoulder issues but as Epstein said, he should be healthy. Lowrie will also be healthy this year for the first time in a while as his wrist issues plus the mono are a thing of the past.
In 150 games last year, Scutaro hit .275 with 11 home runs, 56 RBIs and five stolen bases. He had an OBP of .333 and a slugging percentage of .388. Lowrie saw action in 55 games and hit .287 with nine home runs, 24 RBIs and a stolen base. He had an OBP of .381 and a slugging percentage of .526.
We all know Jose Iglesias is the shortstop of the future but he’s at least a year away. So for 2011, it will either be Scutaro or Lowrie at shortstop. A good spring training for the Jedi could possibly cut into Scutaro’s time. But the good thing for Lowrie is that he can play multiple positions so he’s probably a lock to make the 25-man roster out of spring training barring something unforeseen.
So my question to you is who would you rather have your shortstop in 2011? Lowrie or Scutaro?