Things unraveled for the Tampa Bay Rays quickly on Friday. First, they had a 1-0 lead while starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow was dealing through five innings. He fell apart in the sixth en route to a four-run inning for the Blue Jays. The Jays would end up winning the game, 6-2. Worse news followed the game for the Rays: All-Star second baseman Brandon Lowe has a fractured right patella and will miss four to six weeks, according to manager Kevin Cash (via Marc Topkin).
Lowe injured his knee on a foul ball Thursday and was reportedly limping before the game Friday, causing the Rays to send him for X-rays. In a corresponding move, Raimel Tapia was called up to replace Lowe on the roster Saturday.
Even in optimistic scenarios, there's a chance Lowe's season is over. Four weeks from Friday is Game 5 of the ALCS and six weeks is Game 6 of the World Series. The Rays have clinched a playoff berth, but in order to grab a bye to the ALDS they'll need to win the AL East and they enter play Saturday 1.5 games back.
Regardless of any of that, Lowe's regular season is over, as there's just over a week left. He ends his age-28 season hitting .231/.328/.443 (112 OPS+) with 15 doubles, a triple, 21 homers, 68 RBI, 58 runs, seven steals and 2.1 WAR. He was an All-Star in 2019 and homered 39 times with 99 RBI in 2021. This time around he hit 12 home runs in 54 games after the All-Star break, flashing some of that power we've seen in past seasons.
With Lowe out, the Rays can slide third baseman Isaac Paredes to second base and go with Curtis Mead at third. Also keep in mind that top prospect Junior Caminero has been promoted to the majors from Double-A and can also play third base.