Jed Lowrie, signed by the Mets to a two-year, $20 million contract, has missed the whole season because of a variety of injuries.
But the veteran infielder probably doesn’t want to be known as the Jacoby Ellsbury of the Mets. The club is still hopeful that he can help after the rosters expand to 40 on Sunday — though exactly when is unclear.
Lowrie hit a home run on Thursday night as he continued his minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and played five innings at second base.
In eight games with Syracuse, Lowrie is 6-for-29 (.207) with two home runs.
With the rosters expanding, the Mets hope some veteran reinforcements will be on the way. Brandon Nimmo also is rehabbing at Syracuse — he had what the club called a planned day off on Thursday after going 2-for-4 with a home run on Wednesday — and Robinson Cano continued to work out at Citi Field before the Mets-Cubs game.
Lowrie, 35, hit .267 with 23 homers and 99 RBIs for the A’s last season. He made the American League All-Star team and finished 20th in the MVP voting. That’s the player general manager (and former Lowrie agent) Brodie Van Wagenen thought he was signing to be an infield jack-of-all-trades.
Instead, Lowrie has battled knee, hamstring and calf injuries and has become the butt of Mets fans’ injury-related jokes, just as Ellsbury has for Yankees fans after missing last season and this one with various ailments. But the Mets insist every injury Lowrie has had has been debilitating enough that he couldn’t get on the field.
Lowrie has had injury-shortened seasons before, but he played in 157 games last season and 153 in 2017, so there was no reason to believe he wouldn’t be a contributor.
Before Thursday night’s game, manager Mickey Callaway declined to set a timetable on when and if Lowrie will make his Mets debut.
“Obviously, he’s only played four, five innings at a time,” Callaway said. “He’s healthy. He’s feeling good at this point. He feels like he’s in a good spot — where he should be at this point in his rehab.
“This guy missed a long time of baseball. To have 15, 20 at-bats, it is tough, but we’re going to continue to lean on him [for information]. Like I said, he feels good. The evaluators like what they’ve seen.”
As for Cano, he took batting practice as he attempts to return from a left hamstring tear suffered on Aug. 4. The original timetable was six to 12 weeks, but Cano is trying to beat the odds.
The Mets expect Nimmo to return for certain. He has been out since May 21 with a bulging cervical disc. In eight games for Syracuse, he is batting .250 with one homer and six RBIs.