Donald Lutz Rumors

Reds Release Donald Lutz

The Reds have released first baseman/outfielder Donald Lutz, the club announced. His 40-man spot was needed for the promotion of Ivan DeJesus Jr., who is filling in for the injured Marlon Byrd.

Lutz entered the year rated as Cincinnati’s 28th-best prospect, in the eyes of Baseball America, after reaching as high as 16th on that list in prior seasons. As C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes on Twitter, Lutz underwent Tommy John surgery a month ago.

While he’s only seen 113 largely unsuccessful plate appearances in the big leagues, and was off to a rough start this year prior to his surgery, Lutz has generally put up appealing batting lines throughout his minor league career. His primary strength is in the power department, and he owns a cumulative MiLB slugging percentage of .470.

Lutz is most notable, of course, for being the first major league ballplayer who was developed in Germany. While he was born in the United States, his family moved to Germany when he was just one year old, and he played there until signing as an international free agent back in 2007.

NL Central Notes: Brewers, Lutz, Edwards

The Brewers‘ decision to designate Luis Jimenez for assignment was mostly the result of Jimenez’s poor fit for the team’s current situation,’s Adam McCalvy reports. The team had hoped to use Jimenez as a late-inning defensive replacement for the aging Aramis Ramirez, but there turned out to be few situations in which he came in handy. “Unfortunately, we thought the season would go differently so far and I would use him in a different role,” says manager Ron Roenicke. “Because we’re always behind, his role hasn’t become important.” Here’s more from the NL Central.

  • The Reds have announced that outfielder/first baseman Donald Lutz has had Tommy John surgery after sustaining an elbow injury last week. The 26-year-old Lutz was hitting .190/.292/.262 in 48 plate appearances for Triple-A Louisville and struggled in brief stints with the Reds in 2013 and 2014, although he’s generally hit for good power in the minor leagues. He remains on the Reds’ 40-man roster.
  • The Cubs are having pitching prospect C.J. Edwards (a key component of the 2013 Matt Garza deal) begin his season in the bullpen, Gordon Wittenmyer writes for Baseball America (subscription-only). The Cubs still could use Edwards as a starter in the future, however. “We certainly in no way, shape or form have given up on him as a starter, but we also realize we’ll probably have to manage his innings a little bit this year,” says GM Jed Hoyer. Edwards pitched only 53 2/3 innings last season while dealing with a shoulder issue (although he added 15 innings in the Arizona Fall League), and his innings will be limited again in 2015. Having him begin his season in the bullpen will allow the Cubs to determine later in the season whether to move him back into a starting role. Edwards has struggled so far at Double-A Tennessee, striking out 11 batters but walking ten in 9 2/3 innings.

NL Notes: Pence, Rockies, Lutz

Hunter Pence felt guilty after being traded from the Phillies to the Giants last season, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports. "To be honest with you, I felt really guilty," says Pence. "I was heavily invested in bringing the Phillies back, and it felt like… I felt guilty. I felt like it was my fault that it fell apart." Pence hit .271/.336/.447 for the Phillies in 2012, and the team was 45-56 when it dealt Pence near the end of July. Here are more notes from around the National League.

  • The Rockies are off to a surprising start, but Jeff Francis and Juan Nicasio haven't been positive parts of it, and it remains to be seen how long they'll be in the rotation, the Denver Post's Troy Renck writes. Francis has a 7.27 ERA thus far, and Nicasio has only lasted longer than five innings once this season.
  • The Rockies might have payroll flexibility to take on salary in a trade for a starter at midseason, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. But that payroll flexibility will be tied to increased revenue, a club official says.
  • Outfielder Donald Lutz of the Reds, who made his big-league debut last week, is likely the first German-raised player in MLB history, says Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Lutz was born in the U.S., and his father is American, but his mother is German, and Lutz moved to Germany as a baby. Morosi points out that Germany lags behind the Netherlands and Italy in its development of baseball players, but that could easily change, since Germany is so populous.