Tampa Bay Times
Here comes Nate Lowe and a very hot bat
What Nate Lowe wanted most was a chance.
A chance to be in the majors without the daily uncertainty of being sent back to the minors. And to be in the lineup on a regular basis with the opportunity to make the requisite daily adjustments.
It had become increasingly clear he wasn’t going to get that with the Rays, who had given him 219 at-bats over five stints in 2019-20, during which he hit .251 with 11 homers, 30 RBIs and a .770 OPS and played so-so, at best, defense at first.
The Rays decided in December they would keep Ji-Man Choi — and his four-plus-times higher salary — and traded Lowe to the Rangers for three low-level, albeit intriguing minor-leaguers (Heriberto Hernandez, Osleivis Basabe and Alexander Ovalles).
And like other things in Texas, the opportunity for Lowe was bigger.
Lowe has started each of the Rangers’ first seven games, with hits and RBIs in the first five. He went into play Friday — where none of the Rangers did anything as they got no-hit by San Diego’s Joe Musgrove — leading the majors with 14 RBIs.
Of note, Lowe was only the third player in modern history to knock in 14 runs in his team’s first five games — joining Chris Davis (17, Orioles in 2013) and Bobby Doerr (14, Red Sox in 1941).
“It’s exciting, man,” Lowe said Friday by phone from Texas. “It’s great to see some results right off the bat instead of having to wait around and feel for it and hoping to add it.”
Lowe said the Rangers made it clear after the trade that they planned to give him an opportunity, and they followed through, starting him four times at first base and three at DH, batting him in the middle of the order.
“They’ve been so positive for me, they’ve been so good about telling me you’re going to get a shot to contribute, you’re going to be a guy that helps the offense,” he said. “Fortunately I’ve been able to run with it.”
That run brings Lowe back to Tropicana Field next, as the Rangers open a four-game series with the Rays on Monday.
Lowe, 25, said he is looking forward to it. Not to gloat but to say hello to the players, coaches, athletics trainers and staff he has known since 2016, when he was a 13th-round pick.
And, in a way, to thank them, for giving him the chance to get an opportunity elsewhere.
“That’s just one of the positives that could be a negative of being in an organization so deep talent-wise,” Lowe said. “It goes to show guys who may not be everyday players in Tampa (Bay) deserve a shot to be everyday guys elsewhere.
“So it looks good on Tampa, it looks good on Texas, and it looks good on me.”