After missing all of spring training and the first month of the season with a capsule sprain in his left knee, Jed Lowrie will begin a rehab assignment today with St. Lucie. Lowrie is batting second and, interestingly, playing shortstop, a position he hasn’t seen significant time at since 2015 with the Astros (17 games).
Given how much time he’s missed, Lowrie will likely need a pretty significant rehab stint. When he returns, he’ll join what is already a crowded major league infield. Over his last two seasons, Lowrie has been a two-to-four win player, which would make him the presumptive starter at third base. With Jeff McNeil being a must-start player at this point and Todd Frazier still on the bench, that could squeeze one of J.D. Davis or Dominic Smith off the roster.
Lowrie rehabbing at shortstop is also interesting, as the Mets don’t have a true backup at the position. Frazier also saw time at short while rehabbing, but he’s even less qualified to play short than Lowrie, having never appeared at the position in the majors. Oddly, Jeff McNeil might be the best option at this point, given his physical skills and recent experience at the position in the minors, but the Mets haven’t shown any inclination to consider McNeil at the six.
Regardless of how the Mets choose to shuffle their infield depth chart, Lowrie’s return should deepen a lineup that has been slightly above average so far this season. Perhaps the extra firepower Lowrie provides will help the Mets overcome their recent pitching issues.