Mike Lowell was a pleasant surprise last season, and was perhaps the best part of the Josh Beckett deal. He'll be starting at third base this season, and should be anchoring the 6th spot in the lineup behind the heavy hitters. He had 20 HRs, 80 RBI, and 68 extra base hits for us last season. And if you want my honest opinion, he was slightly misused by Francona. Lowell would often be hitting after Varitek or some other offensively inferior hitter, which I think cost him (and the Sox) some production.
Lowell is a solid player, which is why I like him. He's far from a star, but he comes in and does his job, and does it well. In that respect, he reminds me of Bill Mueller. Winning teams may seem to be built around stars, but they're built on the foundation of good, solid players. Just look at the NY Yankees from 1996 to 2000.
I think Lowell will have a productive 2007 season. He'll hit around .280 to .290. He'll also hit 25 homers, and knock in 90 runs.
But let's say he struggles and/or gets hurt. We've got Eric Hinske on the bench who can come in for him, Alex Cora can play third base, and we all know Kevin Youkilis can, too. So we've got some insurance, there.
I think Hinske might come in for certain situations against RHP. But normally, I'd expect/hope to see Lowell batting 6th behind Ortiz-Ramirez-Drew. That'll give us a good L-R-L-R combo in the middle of the lineup.