Nathaniel Lowe (oblique) might be out for Opening Day

March 8th, 2024

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- has never been on the injured list in his professional career. He actually can’t even remember the last time he missed a baseball game with an injury, though he assumes it was well before high school.

Unfortunately, the injured list could be in his future. According to manager Bruce Bochy on Friday, Lowe will be sidelined for a “little bit” with a right oblique strain, potentially putting Opening Day in jeopardy for the 28-year-old. The initial timeline is three to four weeks, depending on his progress.

The 2022 American League Silver Slugger Award winner and ‘23 Gold Glove Award winner at first base, Lowe often gets lost in the shuffle because of the Rangers’ other All-Star infielders, but he has been a steady presence in Texas’ lineup for three years.

In three seasons with the Rangers, Lowe has played 157 games in 2021, 157 in ‘22 and 161 in ‘23, as well as all 17 games of the Rangers' World Series run.

“It sucks, you know?” Lowe said. “I’m climbing up the list. I'm creating value for myself and making money and now getting paid to do nothing. It feels pretty slimy. I don't love it. It’s something that's new for me and I’m taking it in stride.”

Lowe said he couldn’t pinpoint an exact moment where he injured himself, but figured it was just a buildup of everything over the course of his career, both as an amateur and as a professional.

“I guess at some point, it was bound to happen,” Lowe said. “I mean, again, I don't remember ever missing a game, so this is going to be new. It’s unfortunate. I’m still kind of processing, because my days are shaped differently now. We've joked about triggering this morning, like it's all fun and games when you can walk out but now I’m stuck in there. So it'll be a little different.”

Lowe joins shortstop Corey Seager (sports hernia) and third baseman Josh Jung (left calf strain) as Texas infielders sidelined in camp. Jung has resumed baseball activities and has taken live BP. Seager has played catch, but he has yet to begin swinging.

Bochy said the club will likely fill the hole internally, with guys like Ezequiel Duran -- who is mostly getting reps at shortstop with Seager down -- Justin Foscue, Blaine Crim and Jared Walsh as the leading candidates.

Foscue -- a natural second baseman -- has been getting reps at both first and third base this spring, while both Crim and Walsh are traditional first basemen. Entering Friday, all three have impressed with the bat in camp:

• Foscue: .348/.400/.478
• Walsh: .412/.500/.647
• Crim: .333/.375/.619

“We were just discussing it,” Bochy said. “And we’ll continue over the next few weeks. The one thing I'll say is last year we lost a lot of guys. This team did an incredible job of focusing for a while. We'll move on and keep it going until we get Nate back.”