Tampa Bay Rays Designate Josh Lueke For Assignment


Apr 14, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Josh Lueke (52) throws in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Rays 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have designated Josh Lueke for assignment, a move that hardly comes as a surprise.

His spot on the roster will be taken by pitcher Kirby Yates and he’ll be available today for the Rays against the Seattle Mariners.

Yates, 27, has yet to play in the majors. He has spent his entire minor league career with the Rays, which began in 2009. Over the last two seasons, he has 36 saves for the Durham Bulls.

In 2014, Yates has been outstanding. In 21 games as a reliever, the righty is 1-0 with a 0.36 ERA in 25 innings pitched. His strikeout ratio per nine innings is 12.6 and he has issued just nine walks. His WHIP is .076.

As for Lueke, it just became a matter of time before he was DFA’d.

When Heath Bell was released on May 10 a number of people felt that Lueke could have been the man to go at that time.

He got nearly an extra month in the Rays pen but hasn’t taken advantage. He’s 1-2 this year in 25 games (30.1 IP) and holds a 5.64 ERA. He strikes out only 5.6 batters per nine innings and has given up seven home runs this season. In three seasons as a Ray, Lueke has a 6.22 ERA in 55 innings.

Lueke was acquired in November 2011 from the Mariners for catcher John Jaso, a trade that in hindsight the Rays would love to have back, especially with their current catching situation.