The Rays have placed infielder Brandon Lowe on the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his lower back, per a team announcement. The move is retroactive to June 4. Infielder/outfielder Vidal Brujan has been recalled from Triple-A Durham to take Lowe’s spot on the roster.
Lowe, 28, sprinted out of the gates with an impressive power display early in the season, slashing .257/.368/.581 with seven homers through his first 87 trips to the plate. His OPS has plummeted by more than 250 points since that time, however, as he’s fallen into a dismal slump. Over his past 114 plate appearances, Lowe is slashing just .157/.237/.255 with a huge 30.7% strikeout rate.
The Rays held Lowe out of yesterday’s lineup with what was initially termed discomfort in his lower leg, but Lowe told reporters not long before the game that he’d also been experiencing discomfort in his back following a recent slide into third base. That issue, it seems, has proved problematic enough that he’ll be shelved for at least the next nine days. The team has not yet provided any sort of timetable for his return to the roster.
Brujan, 25, was long rated as one of the game’s top overall prospects but has yet to find any success in the big leagues. He’s seen time in each of the past three seasons but managed only a .161/.215/.233 output in 209 plate appearances. That includes a .250/.286/.250 slash in 21 trips to the plate this season. He’s been far better in Triple-A, where he sports a .268/.355/.435 batting line, 22 home runs and 79 steals in 198 games (883 plate appearances).
With Lowe sidelined, the ever-versatile Rays will have plenty of options to step into the lineup in his place. Each of Taylor Walls, Isaac Paredes and the newly recalled Brujan is plenty familiar with Lowe’s customary second base. The switch-hitting Walls and the righty-swinging Paredes are both much better against left-handed pitching than against righties. Brujan, also a switch-hitter, has typically been better from the left side of the plate, and that’s especially true in 2023: .286/.380/.484 versus righties, .167/.297/.241 versus lefties. For today, with the Rays taking on Red Sox righty Brayan Bello, it’ll be Brujan drawing the start and batting eighth.