Kiermaier looks past ST debut to WS return

Rain cancels Saturday's matchup with Braves

March 6th, 2021

Rays outfielder said he will make his Spring Training debut on Tuesday against the Red Sox. He was missing in action because of tightness in both hips.

During the offseason, Kiermaier was doing his daily sprints and, suddenly, the hips became sore. As camp got closer, he felt the tightness and felt he needed a break. Kiermaier is now 100 percent. In fact, he said he has been able to get eight to 10 at-bats on the backfields in recent days.

“I’m more than ready. I feel great. From the start, [the Rays] wanted to wait until after the off-day, which comes Monday, and first game action on Tuesday,” Kiermaier said. “I want to go out there and get my feet wet, have good at-bats, even though it’s early. You want to try to get locked in sooner than later. That’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Kiermaier, 30, is coming off a season in which he hit .217 with three home runs and 22 RBIs. He is one of the best defensive center fielders in the game. In fact, his defensive WAR of 16.0 is third among active players.

Kiermaier’s biggest goal is to play in the World Series for the second consecutive season and winning this time. Last year, the Rays lost to the Dodgers in the Fall Classic in six games.

“We want to win that thing. We have the team to do it. We have the talent. We have the preparation, mentality, and now we have to go out there and execute better than what we did last year,” Kiermaier said “We want to build off that. We have pretty much the same team, a couple of subtractions, a couple of really good additions. It’s up to us to control our own destiny.”

Lowe having fun
Rays prospect , ranked No. 12 by MLB Pipeline, is taking advantage of his first big league camp. Entering Saturday, the outfielder was 2-for-6 with three runs scored. No doubt, Lowe is having fun.

“So far, so good, being able to learn from our staff and our players up in the big leagues, becoming the best player I can be,” Lowe said. “It’s a pretty special place, especially to be around the team that was just in the World Series last year and looking to go back this year and win it.”

Lowe was hoping to play on the same team with his brother, infielder Nate Lowe, this season, but the Rays traded Nate to the Rangers last December, which ended any chance of a family reunion.

“[The trade] happened and now the only thing we can do is play against each other. That would be just as special for us and our parents whenever that day happens,” Lowe said.