Jed Lowrie left the Oakland Athletics' game against the Cleveland Indians in the second inning on Sunday with a neck strain. He grounded into a double play in his only at-bat, and was replaced by Nick Punto when the team took the field in the second. The word from the team:
Jed Lowrie left the game due to a strained neck. #Athletics— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) May 18, 2014
It's not clear how he suffered the injury, nor do we know how much time he'll miss, if any. "Neck strain" could mean a lot of different things in regard to the severity of the problem. If you're looking for a precedent to compare to, Coco Crisp recently missed seven games after straining his neck colliding with the outfield wall.
Lowrie carried an injury-prone label with him when he arrived in Oakland, but he overcame it by playing in a career-high 154 games last year. His long list of physical maladies includes only one related issue -- he missed one game in April 2013 due to neck stiffness.
Considering Lowrie's history, the A's should consider themselves lucky that he's stayed as healthy as he has in his tenure with the team. I think it's safe to assume that he'll miss a few games, but that's just my speculation. And even if he misses a week, then fine, a little break early in the year isn't the worst thing in the world to keep a guy strong in October. And with the way the team is rolling right now, it can afford to lose one .757 OPS for a few days, especially since it will mean Nick Punto's superior defense in its stead as a consolation prize.
We'll pass on more info as it becomes available.
Update from SuSlu:
Jed Lowrie said his neck issue is similar to the one that cost him a few days last year. He doesn't think it would be more this time.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 18, 2014
Well, that's good news. Everything is going to be fine, people.