The numbers make it seem as though there’s a different Jed Lowrie playing shortstop in Oakland.
His .382 batting average going into Monday night was third in the American League.
He was tied for second in doubles, third in multihit games, fourth in on-base percentage, fifth in hits, sixth in runs, and seventh in slugging percentage and RBIs.
But the only difference, Lowrie says, is how his body feels.
After some injury-plagued seasons with the Red Sox, Lowrie feels healthy, and his performance in the early stages of the season is a byproduct.
“I just feel healthy, feel strong,” Lowrie said. “Don’t really feel like I’m doing anything different. Just been getting myself into good hitter’s counts and putting some good swings on the ball.
“I can’t really attribute it to anything a whole lot different other than feeling strong and feeling healthy.”
In four seasons with the Sox, he played in just 256 games, hitting .252 with 19 home runs. For most of that time, he played through a wrist injury that would ultimately require surgery in 2009.
“Didn’t really feel 100 percent from that surgery until, really, late 2010,” said Lowrie. “And, you know, hands and wrists in baseball is everything. So I dealt with those injuries for a long while.
“But I feel, when I’m 100 percent, I can drive through balls and I can execute my approach as a player.”
He was dealt to Houston before the 2012 season, but in his only season with the Astros, he missed a significant chunk with a nerve injury in his right leg. It happened in a game against the Giants as he stretched to make a forceout at second base and Gregor Blanco slid into him.
Having come along with Lowrie in the Sox farm system, Oakland teammate Brandon Moss said some of the labels Lowrie might have been tagged with were far from accurate.
“It’s hard to look at Jed and say, ‘injury-prone,’ ” Moss said. “You can’t. Because ‘injury-prone’ applies to guys that say, ‘Oh, my shoulder’s sore. Oh, I tweaked my calf.’ Guys that come up with nagging injuries that they’re on the 15-day DL but they only needed 10 days to get through it. That’s injury-prone.
“Jed’s just very unlucky. That’s the way I look at it.
“It isn’t like Jed’s pulling a hamstring or having a tight quad or straining a calf. His injuries are real, season-ending injuries every time. You can’t control that stuff.
“You get hit by a pitch, you get spiked in the ankle, you slide awkward — stupid stuff, and that’s the stuff that happens in the game. I think everybody knows that, yeah, when he’s healthy, he’s extremely productive — especially for a middle infielder.”
Because the injuries were a result of playing the game hard, Lowrie said, he never felt snakebitten.
“I’ve never really looked at it as ‘good luck, bad luck,’ ” he said. “It just happens. So I’ve always, when I have gotten hurt, I’ve just always taken the approach of, ‘OK, it happened. What do I do now to get ready to get back onto the field?’ Whatever it is, I’m going to find a way to come back from it.”
He has gotten comfortable hitting in the heart of the A’s order.
“I just feel stronger, I feel healthier,” he said.
As for what might have been in Boston, he tries not to think about it.
“I think things play out for a reason, and for whatever reason, it didn’t work out in Boston,” Lowrie said. “I don’t know why.
“But I enjoyed my time here. I enjoyed my teammates and the fans. But I feel like looking back on it might be a little bit of a waste of time because I’m here now and I’m focused on what I can do to help the Oakland A’s at this point.”Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.