PORTLAND — The Sea Dogs’ home game against the Binghamton Mets wasn’t the only thing washed out by Tuesday’s incessant rains.
Boston Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie’s return to Hadlock Field as part of an injury rehabilitation assignment — and a chance for regular Portland shortstop Argenis Diaz to play a little second base — were postponed as well.
“Yeah, this is disappointing,” said Lowrie, who is 5-for-19 in seven minor league rehab appearances (six with Pawtucket, one with Portland) since being cleared to play following surgery for a left wrist fracture that he played with last season.
The 25-year-old infielder is 3-for-5 with Portland, which he joined Monday in Manchester, N.H.
“I really don’t care what I hit for average. The average doesn’t matter as long as … I’m playing,” said Lowrie, who played for the Sea Dogs in 2007. “It’s really just playing. Monday was the first day I’d played nine innings since April.”
The rain means Portland will play a 5 p.m. doubleheader today with Lowrie playing in one of the two. His rehab schedule remains unchanged and he will rejoin Pawtucket on Wednesday.
One thing the rain failed to dampen was enthusiasm: Lowrie’s to be back in a lineup and Portland manager Arnie Beyeler’s happy to have him back with the Sea Dogs.
“We actually laughed. I told him it was hard to believe he came back because he had so many hits when he was here,” Beyeler said. “He said, ‘I guess you’re right. I did. I like playing here.’”
Beyeler admitted Lowrie’s return creates some lineup changes, but said even that could be turned into a positive.
“It is a big deal because Argenis is a 40-man guy and he plays every day, and this takes away his spot,” Beyeler said. “We’re trying to get him a few reps and that’s where the rain hurt us today.
“We wanted to take him out and get him some balls at second base and give him a couple days there maybe to broaden his base and help him out, but the weather screwed that up.”
That’s not to say Beyeler isn’t happy to have his old shortstop back.
“I don’t think it’s ever a bad situation when someone comes in from the big leagues,” he said. “The whole thing we’re doing here involves getting guys to the big leagues and being around big leaguers so anytime you can be around a big league-caliber player, something’s going to rub off if these guys pay attention and watch the way guys like Jed and Papi (David Ortiz) and John Smoltz go about their business.”
It’s been a long road back for Lowrie, who has had his patience tested since being sidelined April 12.
“I just need to be patient and know it’s going to come back. You can’t rush things and do too much too soon,” said Lowrie, who batted .258 with two home runs and 46 RBIs in 81 games with Boston in 2008. “This is the only time I’ve had surgery so this is something I’m going through for the first time.”
Other than a high ankle sprain in at Single A that required a month of rehab, Lowrie hasn’t missed much time due to injury in his five-year pro career.
“I was happy with how my wrist responded, but then I hit a few speed bumps in rehab after getting hit in the knee my third game and missed some games because of that. I was making great strides, but that kind of slowed it down,” Lowrie said. “I just got unlucky with that knee because it hit in a bad spot and there was a lot of bruising and inflammation.
“Maybe that’s what my wrist needed was something else to take my mind off it.”