Jed Lowrie was a bargain for players last year because he came cheaply and he did something he's only done one other time in his career -- avoid the disabled list. His 2017 looked a lot like his only other full season across the board (11.3 walk percentage, 15.5 strikeout percentage, 119 wRC+), but betting on back-to-back healthy years from him is an exercise in futility, especially at his age (turns 34 in April). Like most switch hitters, Lowrie's power side is the left side while he hits for a decent average in limited exposure to lefties. The power spike, for him, came from him getting back to hitting more flyballs (43.5 flyball percentage), which is something the injuries in 2016 did not allow him to do (32.0 percent). The second base job is Lowrie's for 2018 and he can contribute in everything but steals, but you better have a good backup plan in place.
Lowrie will return as the A's second baseman next season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A's general manager David Forst reportedly said that Lowrie will be returning, suggesting the team plans to pick up his $6 million option for 2018. The veteran suited up for 153 contests, racking up a career-high 49 doubles to go with 69 RBI, a .277 average and 86 runs. Given that it will be the last year of his contract, Lowrie will be motivated to perform well again in what will be his age-34 season.
Lowrie went 3-for-5 with a double, a grand slam, five RBI and two runs against the Tigers on Tuesday. The last three games have seen Lowrie drive home nine runs courtesy of four extra-base knocks, but his hot streak actually extends all the way back into August -- over his last 17 games, Lowrie's hit .365/.468/.603 with a couple homers, 16 RBI, 15 runs and a startling 13:8 BB:K. The veteran second baseman has easily set a new career high in walks (67) this season, driving what's been one of the best campaigns of his inconsistent, injury-ravaged career.
Lowrie went 1-for-3 with three RBI from a run-scoring double, a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk in Monday's 8-3 win over the Tigers. He also had an additional walk. Lowrie made the most of his at-bats in the win, leading to his second multi-RBI game in the last five contests. The veteran has reached safely in nine straight games and has seven of his 10 RBI in September over the last six contests as well. Factoring in Monday's production, he's now slashing .340/.460/.560 over 63 September plate appearances.
Lowrie is not in the lineup Sunday against the Phillies. After starting six consecutive games, Lowrie will get the day off and give way to Joey Wendle at second base. Since the start of September, Lowrie has slashed .340/.456/.553 and scored 12 runs over 13 games.
Lowrie went 3-for-4 with two RBI from a double and a triple and also scored two runs in Wednesday's 7-3 win over the Red Sox. Lowrie burned one of his old squads with the pair of run-scoring hits, raising his September line to .378/.477/.568 in the process. The 33-year-old has yet to go deep this month, but he's already tallied six extra-base hits (five doubles, one triple) and is now just three short of eclipsing the career-best 62 he smacked back in 2013.