Rookie infielder/outfielder Brandon Lowe will get another chance to make an impact for the Rays this year, per a team announcement on Sunday. Lowe was previously declared out for the season after sustaining a left quad strain in late August, but was able to recuperate more quickly than expected and has been officially reinstated from the 60-day injured list.
It’s been a tumultuous season for the 25-year-old rookie, whose quad strain was preceded by a deep bone bruise in his right shin that forced him to the injured list for nearly three months. When healthy, however, he made significant strides at the plate, batting .276/.339/.523 with 16 home runs, an .862 OPS, and 2.5 fWAR through 307 plate appearances.
There’s no guarantee that Lowe will be able to replicate those numbers over the final week of the regular season, but the progress he made in instructional league games has given the team a little bit of hope over the last few days. Per MLB.com’s Juan Toribio, the Rays intend to keep Lowe in the mix as much as possible, but will try to limit any ambitious baserunning maneuvers that might re-aggravate his injuries.
“There’s obviously some things that I’m not going to do,” Lowe told reporters. “I’m not going to bust a chopper right back at the pitcher. I’m not going to try and beat a little bouncer at the defense, but I feel good enough to go out there and give it what I got.”
Lowe is set to rejoin the team at a pivotal point in the season, one that finds the Rays clinging to a one-game lead over the Indians for the second AL wild card spot. Should they end up qualifying for the postseason, it’ll mark their fifth trip to the playoffs and first since 2013.