All-Star Brandon Lowe (shin) placed on IL

Kiermaier out of lineup for second straight day; Duffy begins rehab assignment

July 4th, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- Before Thursday’s game against the Yankees, the Rays placed infielder/outfielder Brandon Lowe on the 10-day injured list with a right shin bone bruise, retroactive to Wednesday.

With just four games left before the All-Star break, the Rays decided it was best to let Lowe heal properly and hopefully get him back at some point during the Baltimore series after the break.

“Everything we’re getting right now is it’s going to be a short-term thing,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “It’s all about how he responds and continues to make progress. Obviously he’s still very sore. You do see these things after two, three or four days start to go away and he gets that range of motion back a little bit.”

Lowe walked into the ballpark in crutches and was wearing a compression sleeve on his right leg. But despite still needing some assistance, Lowe said that he’s starting to feel better than he did when the injury occurred on Tuesday.

“It’s much better than it was,” Lowe said. “Waking up the first night was tough, but came in today and got treatment a few times and I feel better. I’m able to walk on it with some assistance, so we’re heading in the right direction.”

Even though the injury will keep him out of the All-Star Game next week, Lowe said the current plan is for him and his wife, Madison, to still make the trip to Cleveland for the festivities.

“We’re still excited to go and take in the experience,” Lowe said. “I’m pretty positive that things will progress pretty quickly and we’ll be back pretty soon.”

With Lowe going down with the injury, the Rays recalled first baseman Nate Lowe from Triple-A Durham. It’ll be Nate’s third stint with the Rays, and the left-hander is coming off a three-homer game on Tuesday in Triple-A.

Nate is not in the Rays’ starting lineup on Thursday against left-hander J.A. Happ, but he’ll likely be in the lineup on Friday against right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

“Nate has really turned it on,” Cash said. “I just got off the phone with [Triple-A manager Brady Williams] about 30 minutes ago and he’s swung the bat well, obviously two nights ago. [Williams said Lowe] couldn’t be in a better spot for an opportunity to get back up here, so hopefully he can stay hot. Whether he’s coming off the bench or starting, have some really, really good at-bats for us.”

Injury updates

Kevin Kiermaier is not in the Rays’ starting lineup for the second consecutive game with left wrist soreness. Kiermaier said that the injury occurred during Sunday’s game against the Rangers as he slid back to the bag on a pickoff attempt by Jesse Chavez, but the Rays expect to have him back in the lineup on Friday.

“He’ll probably take today and hopefully get him back in there tomorrow,” Cash said. “He jammed his wrist a couple of days ago sliding back to the bag on a pickoff and it just hasn’t gone away.”

Matt Duffy began his rehab assignment on Thursday, playing third base with the GCL Rays. The hope is for Duffy to play a couple of games in the GCL before moving to Class A Advanced and then get him back to Triple-A. Duffy has missed the entire season with a reoccuring left hamstring injury.

“He knows he has a little bit of a road ahead of him, but start getting his at-bats and see where that takes us,” Cash said. “But he felt good going out and as he said, it’s probably the best he has ever felt going to a rehab this season.”

Diego Castillo, who has been sidelined since June 23 with a right shoulder impingement, threw a bullpen session at Tropicana Field on Thursday and everything went smoothly. The expectation is to have Castillo back for next Friday’s game against Baltimore coming out of the All-Star break.

“Diego looked really good,” Cash said. “He threw 20-something pitches of the mound, fastball and slider. Lot of strikes and the velo was good. I think he’ll throw a live BP tomorrow of 15 pitches and then over the All-Star break go and face some hitters in Port Charlotte maybe Tuesday.”