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Rays Place Josh Lowe On 10-Day Injured List

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The Rays announced that outfielder Josh Lowe has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right oblique strain, with a retroactive placement date of May 23.  In the corresponding move, right-hander Chris Devenski has been activated from the 15-day IL after missing almost exactly a month due to tendinitis in his right knee.

Lowe made an early exit from Wednesday’s game because of what was described at the time as a right side strain, though a follow-up MRI didn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary.  Nevertheless, it isn’t surprising that the Rays will be cautious and send Lowe to the IL given that he already missed over a month of the season with another oblique strain.  Between that first oblique strain and hip inflammation, Lowe missed most of Spring Training and didn’t make his season debut until May 6.

In between his two trips to the IL, Lowe hit .240/.296/.440 with two homers over 54 plate appearances.  This translated to a respectable 108 wRC+, though it was still well below the 131 wRC+ Lowe delivered while hitting .292/.335/.500 with 20 homers and 32 stolen bases over 501 PA in 2023.  Tampa Bay was hoping Lowe would again be a big contributor to the lineup, and his absence for much of the season has been a factor in the Rays’ overall underwhelming offensive performance.

Lowe had been receiving regular center-field duty against right-handed pitching, but the combination of Jose Siri and Jonny DeLuca (both right-handed batters) should again handle the bulk of center field work while Lowe is away.  Randy Arozarena made a few appearances in center field earlier this week and might again factor into the mix depending on how the Rays shuffle their outfield at-bats.  Harold Ramirez’s playing time diminished when Lowe and Jonathan Aranda returned from the IL, but with Lowe again sidelined, Ramirez might again get some work on the grass if Arozarena is shifted into center field on at least a part-time basis.

Devenski has allowed five homers in only 14 innings pitched this season, resulting in a 7.71 ERA for the veteran reliever.  Keeping the ball in the park has long been a challenge for Devenski throughout his career, though he showed some improvement in this regard after he first signed with the Rays last August, while posting a 2.08 ERA in nine appearances and 8 2/3 innings with the team.  This was enough for Tampa to re-sign Devenski to a one-year, $1.1MM free agent deal this past winter, but the club hasn’t yet gotten much return on even that modest contract.

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