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Josh Lowe ready to joins Rays after initial disappointment

Lowe is rated as Tampa Bay's No. 2 prospect
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Posted at 8:10 AM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 08:10:13-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays made the tough choice to deal outfielder Austin Meadows to the Detroit Tigers only four days before Opening Day.

The reason — to clear a path to playing time for young outfielder Josh Lowe.

Lowe, 24, did not initially make the Rays’ major league roster instead optioned to Triple-A Durham last week.

Disappointment set in for the Rays’ No. 2 ranked prospect.

“Naturally, yeah,” Lowe said. “It’s still, 'keep the same focus.'”

On Monday, Lowe took a flight to Nashville to join his Durham teammates for the season opener when he got the news.

“We just landed in Nashville,” Lowe said. “(Taylor) Walls actually called and said ‘did you see what happened? Meadows got traded.’ I was like ‘I’m not looking into anything.’”

He called his parents, his agent, his brother (Ranger's first baseman Nate Lowe) and his girlfriend, everyone he could think of.

“I spoke with Josh at the beginning of camp and was very honest and so was Erik (Neander),” manager Kevin Cash said. “Dominoes can fall one way and this is how we do it. If they don’t, then we will go another way. I’m glad we said that. He can’t call me a liar, which we kidded around about. It just happened later. It came down to the wire.”

“I pretty much just took a flight, between two random people, turned back around,” Lowe said of the travel experience.

“I don’t think Josh minded flying to Nashville, going to Durham,” Cash said. “Mom and Dad are going to be here. So it’s pretty cool to see him play.”

Lowe mashed 22 home runs and swiped 26 bases during his MVP campaign last season in Triple-A. Now, he has a chance to showcase those skills as an everyday contributor in the big leagues.

“For them to have the confidence in me to be here Opening Day after trading Meadows, it means a lot to me,” Lowe said. “It’s the same game, just more people in the stands. Talent is a little better. Got to rise to the occasion and play.”

The Rays open the season against the Baltimore Orioles Friday at 3:10 p.m.