Commentary

BP Daily: No panic needed

For Lowell and Burrell, slow starts contain optimistic signs

Originally Published: April 14, 2009
By Marc Normandin | Baseball Prospectus

April is a wonderful time for baseball; the season has just started up and the games and the stats finally matter. That does not mean that the hitting lines and numbers posted by hitters these first few weeks have much meaning, though, as they might not be representative of a player's abilities. Small sample sizes are the culprit for much of this, but with some careful observation and some nifty statistical tools, you can start to sort out which performances should improve given more time.

Mike Lowell ended last season on a down note, as the pain in his hip got to a point where he could no longer play until he had it repaired and was given time to recover. This year, he has started to move about a bit better with more time, making better-looking defensive plays in the field than he had at the beginning of spring training, when he was a little less limber. His bat has not followed suit yet, though, as he is hitting just .154/.185/.346 to start the season.

[+] EnlargeMike Lowell
AP Photo/Chris PizzelloA slow start for Lowell is not a red flag ... yet.