HomeTrending MLB NewsRays taking 'wait and see' approach with injured OF

Rays taking ‘wait and see’ approach with injured OF

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Rays outfielder Josh Lowe has spent most of the season on the injured list after a series of injuries, including oblique, hamstring and hip issues, prevented him from playing since spring training. Things began looking up for the 26-year-old when he was activated off the injured list earlier this month, but he appeared in just 14 games before being pulled from Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox due to right side strain.

The strain immediately raised alarms for Lowe and the Rays given his oblique issues earlier this season. However, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that while Lowe underwent an MRI exam to determine the severity of the issue, the results were ultimately inconclusive. Topkin suggests that an injured list placement for Lowe remains likely to ensure that he doesn’t aggravate the oblique issue that left him sidelined to open the season. The club will wait until Friday to make a determination about a potential IL stint for the outfielder after Lowe told club officials Thursday morning that he was feeling better.

The club’s first-round pick in the 2016 draft, Lowe enjoyed a breakout season last year as he posted a strong .292/.335/.500 slash line in 501 plate appearances, good for a wRC+ of 131. That figure has dipped to just 108 this season, although a sample size of just 54 plate appearances is hardly meaningful enough to draw conclusions from. Whether Lowe ultimately proves to once again be the impact bat he was for the Rays in 2023 or not, another trip to the injured list would be an unfortunate turn of events for a lineup that’s already without Taylor Walls and has seen key pieces like Randy Arozarena and Yandy Diaz struggle in the early going this year. Richie Palacios was the club’s primary answer in right field while Lowe was out earlier this year and once again figures to handle the position in his absence should he require a trip to the injured list.

Speaking of Walls, Topkin reports that the infielder could be nearing a notable step forward in his rehab from offseason hip surgery as he’s “tentatively scheduled” to move from the Florida Complex League up to Triple-A Durham on May 30. That’s a fairly quick turnaround, as Walls first began his rehab assignment in Florida on Tuesday according to MLB.com’s Injury Tracker. The Rays have relied on Jose Caballero and Amed Rosario to handle shortstop in Walls’s absence but neither of them have the strong defensive reputation of Walls, whose +38 Defensive Runs Saves from 2021 to 2023 are sixth-best among all big league infielders despite Walls appearing in just 295 games during that time.

In other Rays news, Topkin also relays that club manager Kevin Cash told reporters that the club remains interested in right-hander Erasmo Ramirez even after designating the righty for assignment Wednesday. Cash indicated that the club could look to pursue a reunion with Ramirez in the event that he isn’t claimed by another club while on waivers, noting that the club would “definitely” like him back in the fold.

The 34-year-old hurler first played for the Rays from 2015-2017 as a swing man before returning to the club midseason last year. Ramirez’s second stint with the Rays could’ve gone better, as he allowed a 5.84 ERA while striking out just 18.2% of batters faced in 49 1/3 innings of work across the past two seasons. Even so, he’s just a couple of years removed from a strong 2022 campaign with the Nationals where he pitched to 2.92 ERA in 86 1/3 frames across 60 appearances as a multi-inning relief arm for the club.


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