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Lowell takes swings, but gets word of no WBC

01.27.09 at 8:28 pm ET

The reality of rehab hit Mike Lowell in an uneven way Tuesday.

There was good news — the third baseman swung a bat for the first time since Game 3 of the American League Division Series, taking 50 cuts off of a batting tee.

Then came the bad.

The Red Sox third baseman, who continues to rehab from surgery on his torn hip labrum, received a letter from Lou Melendez, the general manager of the Puerto Rico World Baseball Classic team, yesterday. In the note, which was directed to Lowell’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, Melendez informed the 34-year-old that he would not be eligible to play for Puerto Rico in the upcoming WBC.

Melendez explained in the letter that because of Lowell’s Oct. 20 surgery, the Red Sox requesting that the third baseman not participate, and the fact the third baseman wouldn’t meet many of the levels of criteria used to determine availability, he was being taken off Puerto Rico’s list of eligible players. Lowell had originally been put on the club’s provisional roster.

While the news didn’t come as a surprise — the current scheduled progression for Lowell’s rehab suggests he might not be ready to participate in full games by the time Puerto Rico plays it opener on March 7 — it still allowed for some disappointment. Lowell’s father, Carl, is one of the most revered baseball players ever to represent Puerto Rico, having been inducted into the territory’s Athletic Hall of Fame.


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