posted 8 years ago
The Red Sox deactivated injured third baseman Mike Lowell before Monday night's Game 4 of the division series, a move that gives Boston short-term roster relief in the form of utility infielder Gil Velazquez, but ensures the team will be without the 2007 World Series most valuable player after it advanced to the league championship series.
'He's hurting today,' Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said before the announcement regarding Lowell, who has been suffering from a strained right hip. 'It's difficult for him right now, because he's pretty banged up. . . . His ability to try to play through pain is remarkable, but I think we all kind of saw it was difficult for him [Sunday] night.'
Lowell started Games 1 and 3 against the Angels and went a combined 0 for 8 and had difficulty moving laterally on defense. By rule, a player who is deactivated during a round of the playoffs is ineligible for the next round.
Velazquez was in the majors for less than one week this season, but hit .260 with 10 homers and 46 RBI in 101 games in Class AAA.
White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen realizes that Ken Griffey Jr. is hardly the player he once was.
Chicago acquired the future Hall of Famer from Cincinnati at the trading deadline, but with his new team Griffey hit just .260 with three home runs in 131 at-bats.
Guillen kept Griffey on the bench for Game 2 of the division series, but the veteran outfielder has been around long enough to handle the diminished role with grace. "That's baseball," he said.
Still, Griffey contributed in less flashy ways before the White Sox were eliminated. In Game 3, he alertly advanced from first to second on a flyout in the third inning, an aggressive move that turned into a run when the next batter singled.
The White Sox don't steal many bases. This season, they swiped 67, 25th in baseball and 75 fewer than the Rays, who led the league.