Rays Notes: Nate Lowe, Franco

Some updates from the Dominican League…

  • Rays first baseman Nate Lowe has left his Dominican League team in order to prepare for the MLB season, per Escogido Baseball (via Twitter). Officially, Lowe’s departure was a personal decision, but he was reportedly concerned about rising cases of COVID-19 and didn’t want to put his readiness for the 2021 MLB season at risk. Lowe faces stiff competition for playing time with the Rays. He has managed 245 plate appearances over the past two seasons with a capable .251/.322/.447 slash line, but his playing time has largely come with Ji-Man Choi on the shelf. Lowe faces a similar barrier to playing time next seasno, as he currently sits behind Choi and Yoshi Tsutsugo as lefty first-baseman/designated-hitter-types.
  • Top MLB prospect Wander Franco is recovering from “discomfort in his right bicep,” per Escogido Baseball (via Twitter). Franco has been excellent thus far with a triple slash of .350/.435/.500 in the Dominican League. The injury does not appear to be more than a day-to-day issue for the highly-touted shortstop. Rays fans are surely hopeful that Franco will find his way to the big-league roster this season. While it’s tough to improve upon a roster that won the American League pennant, adding a 80-rated hit tool from the minors is one way to upgrade. The Rays have shown a willingness to be patient with their prospects, however, and Willy Adames is capably holding down the shortstop spot in the meantime. Beyond Adames, the Rays boast a healthy stable of infielders, even before expanding to include other top Rays’ prospects. Taylor Walls, Vidal Brujan, and Kevin Padlo could soon compete for big-league at-bats, though none threaten Franco’s long-term claim to an infield spot.



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