NEW YORK -- Speaking to reporters prior to Tuesday night's game between the Red Sox and Yankees, Mike Lowell reiterated his displeasure regarding his current role on the Sox. For the second straight time, Lowell isn't getting the start at designated hitter against a left-handed starter, with David Ortiz filling the role against New York's CC Sabathia.
"I don't know. I think it's one of those unfortunate things where it's painfully evident I don't have a role on the team," Lowell said. "I think I have a temporary role but that's more to the fact we had young outfielders because of the injuries to Jacoby and Cam and David got off to a slow start. David's swinging the bat a lot better, which I'm actually happy for. I actually think he's still a big presence in our lineup. I don't care what the numbers say. He's that guy you still fear that he doesn't have to make really good contact and he will still hit the ball out of the park. As a friend and as a teammate, you don't like to see those guys struggle. You just don't. Obviously there's a catch how it affects me.
"When Jacoby [Ellsbury] and Cam [Mike Cameron] come back I just don't really know what my role is. With those two in the lineup I don't know who I would hit for. When I hit I get pinch-run for. I don't play defense. I think sometimes you feel like the team would be better off if you're not on it. I just eat up a roster spot, I really do. If anything it's a good feeling that I have so many teammates come up to me and say they sympathize over my situation. I think I've truly agonized over it. It's not good or bad, it's just reality. I don't know what else to do."
When asked it the scenario is even tougher to digest because he was filling a role as the DH against lefties, Lowell said, "I think it makes it a little bit harder because I think you feel if you had played extremely well something might have changed, but I'm not really sure."
Lowell said he hasn't formally asked to be released, but it has crossed his mind.
"Have I given it thought, sure. I think that's a normal train of thought to go through," he said. "Is that something that would happen? I don't know. I haven't looked that deep into it. I think that's more upper management's decision. They've been willing to eat a lot of my contract so maybe that's not holding them back. Sometimes you think if that happens it would be better. But I don't have a crystal ball and I don't think the flip side is always better or always worse. I know the situation here is … I just don't see it being very good."
Part of the reason for Lowell's diminished role of late has been the emergence of Ortiz, who now has six home runs in the month of May.
"I actually think it's right to keep him in the lineup. That's what you have to do. That's how you get guys hot," Lowell explained. "David's the type of guy when he gets hot he can carry a team for two or three weeks. On the flip side, I went 4 for 4 the other day and I didn't play so there's no opportunity to get that string going and that's definitely that's something new for me. I don't think I've played three consecutive games all year and it's hard to get that rhythm. I don't think I'm a guy who is going to wow you. I'm not going to hit the ball 40 rows deep. My strength is my consistency.
"I don't know what to do. I know I want to play baseball. I love playing baseball. I think the element is a little bit out my control. I just don't see a role here. David and myself are basically two roster spots that don't play on the field. There's a lot of things we need to fix here. It's reality."
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