Their MLB-best 42-19 record does not show it, but the Tampa Bay Rays have battled a lot of adversity through the first two months and change of the 2023 season. Injuries have already ravaged their deep pitching staff, and now the team is going to be without one of their sluggers.
The Rays placed second baseman Brandon Lowe on the 10-day injured list with lower back inflammation, according to Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. This comes a week after closer Pete Fairbanks went on the 15-day IL with a hip issue (no structural damage).
Before the move, Lowe was struggling profusely at the plate with a .199 batting average and .686 OPS. The former All-Star has played 100 games or more in a season just once since being called up in 2018. His power (nine dingers, 29 RBIs) usually makes him a valued asset for the Tampa Bay lineup, but the team has done just fine in that department. The Rays lead baseball with 104 home runs, turning what was their biggest question mark into their best strength.
Although they have also been getting it done on the mound, the Rays have relied heavily on their stout offense to overcome multiple devastating pitching injuries. Right-hander Drew Rasmussen is out with a flexor strain and southpaw Jeffrey Springs underwent Tommy John surgery.
There is good news in St. Petersburg, though. Starter Tyler Glasnow is back and getting back in the groove of things, while star shortstop Wander Franco will return to the lineup Monday after dealing with a strained hamstring.
The next man up mentality has worked wonders thus far, so fans should not be overly panicked being without Brandon Lowe for a bit.