Three weeks ago the Rays named Alex Cobb as their Opening Day starter, but now he’s going to begin the season on the disabled list. Their new Opening Day starter will be Chris Archer, who threw 195 innings with a 3.33 ERA and 173/72 K/BB ratio last season.
Cobb, Drew Smyly, and Alex Colome are all injured, so the Rays’ rotation will be patched together early on. They’re hoping that Cobb will return in mid-April.
Archer will be the first pitcher other than David Price or James Shields to start Opening Day for the Rays since 2007.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays and infielder Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Lowe has just 58 days of service time, so this will cover his three years of pre-arbitration as well as three arbitration years.
Lowe, 24, earned a promotion to the majors in early August last year, playing mostly at second base but also logging time in both outfield corners. Through the end of the season, he hit .233/.324/.450 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Lowe also performed well this spring, batting .359/.405/.692 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI in 39 at-bats.
MLB Pipeline rates lowe as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system. He is in line to see regular starts at second base, but the Rays will certainly be keen to utilize his versatility throughout the year.