Blue Jays manager John Schneider informed reporters, including Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, than outfielder Nathan Lukes has made the club’s Opening Day roster.
Lukes, 28, will be making his major league debut as soon as he gets into a game. A 2015 seventh-rounder, Lukes has spent eight years in the minors, going from Cleveland to Tampa Bay in the 2016 trade that sent Brandon Guyer the other way. He reached Triple-A by 2019, then saw the minor leagues get cancelled by the pandemic in 2020. He spent another year at Durham in 2021 but wasn’t given a roster spot and reached minor league free agency after that season.
Lukes signed a minor league deal with the Jays last year and impressed them enough that they added him to their 40-man roster in November. He’s never been a top prospect because he doesn’t really have a standout tool, but he does seem to do a bit of everything with some success. For the Bisons last year, he hit 11 home runs and stole 20 bases, walking in 9.7% of his plate appearances while limiting strikeouts to an 18.4% clip. His .285/.364/.425 batting line amounted to a wRC+ of 111, and he spent time at all three outfield positions.
The Blue Jays previously had a very right-handed heavy lineup but have addressed that imbalance this winter. Righties Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. were traded while lefties Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier were brought aboard. That puts a bit less importance on the left-handed bat of Lukes, though he does give the club a true fourth outfielder, perhaps allowing Whit Merrifield and Cavan Biggio to stay on the infield more often that not.
Some other notes from around the AL East…
- The Yankees have reassigned right-hander Ian Hamilton, who was in camp on a minor league deal, to Triple-A. Per Joel Sherman of The New York Post (Twitter links), Hamilton has the ability to opt out of his deal and return to free agency, but agreed to move his opt-out date to April 5. Hamilton had a nice spring, tossing nine scoreless innings while striking out six batters and walking three. It seems the club doesn’t have room for him on Opening Day, but their bullpen depth is a concern. Tommy Kahnle and Lou Trivino suffered injuries during spring and will be starting the season on the injured list. Since starters Carlos Rodon, Frankie Montas and Luis Severino are also starting the season on the IL, the weakened rotation will put extra pressure on the bullpen. Hamilton will stick with the organization for at least one extra week to see if his services are needed, but he could wind up back on the open market after that. He spent most of last year at Triple-A in the Twins’ organization, posting a 1.88 ERA with a 32.1% strikeout rate, 7.1% walk rate and 51.6% ground ball rate.
- The Red Sox will need to find a roster spot for outfielder Raimel Tapia, who is going to make the club’s Opening Day roster. There’s still nothing official but Julian McWilliams of The Boston Globe reports that the corresponding move for Tapia could be infielder Adalberto Mondesi going on the 60-day injured list. Mondesi, 27, has shown tremendous talent in his career but is also frequently injured. He only played 15 games last year before being diagnosed with a torn ACL in late April that required surgery. Mondesi was expected to miss some of the start of the season but a trip to the 60-day IL would prevent him from returning until late May. The Sox picked him up from the Royals in a January trade sending lefty Josh Taylor to Kansas City. At the time, the hope was that he could help provide some middle infield cover in the wake of Trevor Story’s elbow surgery. Mondesi is in his final season of club control before reaching free agency for the first time.
KC won that trade.
TB Sox NY
We will see if Taylor pitches like he did or the back problem troubles him the rest of his career.
Mondesi was always expected to miss first couple of months. I wish people would educate themselves before posting.
Pretty early to say that, huh?
It was a pretty low risk trade either way.
You base your comment on what? It was a trade of oft injured players, a relief pitcher for a middle infielder. Taylor is healthy now and still didn’t make the Royal’s opening day roster. So please explain
For one thing that’s absurdly early to call it either way…
second we always knew Mondesi was going to miss the start of the year. The 60-day thing would suck a little but also might be motivated by roster flexibility not 100% injury timeline (which does still suck)
beyond those two things… I prefer Bleier to Taylor especially given Taylor’s health recently so looking at the trade in a vacuum is totally misleading as without it… Bleier would not have been a fit and thus not acquired. In the end Taylor for Mondesi and opening for Bleier is already a win regardless of Mondei’s health.
Taylor didn’t even make the Royals roster…
Ok. Omaha won the trade.
LOL! Nicely played.
So there is no back dating a 60 day IR stint?
It can only be backdated to opening day.
Then why is Story on the 60?
Fever Pitch Guy
Joe – That question makes no sense. Oscar is right, backdated to Opening Day only. That’s why some players began the season on the 15 day, others on the 60 day … it all depends on their projected recovery period.
Does anyone see Biggio finishing the season in Toronto?
Yes, and probably starting at 2nd come playoffs
Prediction, 265/385/390 15hr 15 sb if given at least 110 games
The guy can just barely hit .200 now, so why .265?
He’s been hurt for the most part of 2 years, even when not on the IL he was still too hurt to produce effectively.
People forget his rookie season
He was very good as a rookie. I believe it was 260/390/410 if memory serves (not gonna look it up) hit 12 or 15 HR in 100 games with a bunch of steals.
He played well defensively at 2nd AND was a leadoff high OBP guy.
Injuries, Springer, a lack of Chapman (playing 3rd) and an emergence of Espinal all culminates in him losing confidence losing playing time playing where he wasn’t comfortable and being caught in that vicious cycle over 2 full years
He’s fully healthy, is slightly older than Vlad and Bo, isn’t going to be given another chance after this and knows all it. But look at his back half last year and spring this year.
He’s going to shock alot of people. He’s not an allstar, he’s not a HOFer like his dad. But he doesn’t have to be. He just needs to be what he is.
I wish him the best of luck. I do like him, I just don’t see his success.
Nope. Lukes is going to take away reps from him in the OF. Merrifield and Espinal have 2B covered. If there’s an injury to Merrifield, Biggio gets bypassed for Barger and Belt is going to take reps away from him at 1B.
His value is what he brings back in a trade.
Barger only comes up if injury to Chapman or Bo. Barger is wanted in one of those positions only at the moment or probably would have made the club out of Spring at 2B
2nd is for smaller guys or light arms plus those who failed at SS and 3rd
Barger is none of those things. And they aren’t starting his clock this year for 2B
The evaluation in the FO might go something like this. Espinal is a pretty good bat, not much power but excellent at defense. Biggio is a below average bat, a little power, a tick above average defensively. Barger has a good bat, with power and since he can play short, he can play second.
They’re trying to win it all, they’re not worried about starting his clock when it’s more likely than not he’s starting next year at 3B.
If Bargers pedigree was that of a Volpe, I might agree with you. But let’s face it, Barger is a happy surprise for Jays fans.
Even someone like me who keeps an eye on the players coming up, didn’t and wouldn’t predict that Barger would be where he is now.
Considering everything that’s been said or done this year to construct the roster, I don’t think Barger amounts to anything but injury replacement, and Martinez might even get the first looks as showcase in trade.
Love talking Ball with you guys tho.
Can’t wait for the season to start tomorrow
Mondesi has ONCE had an OPS over .800. (2018 115 OPS+ and .804 OPS in 75 games.). His next highest OPS+ was 92 in 2021. The guy is going to be 28 this year and hasn’t really shown much ever outside of his defense, even in the minors (career .710 OPS).
Never understood the hype around him at all.
He was acquired as a need to possibly fill a spot and depth, nothing overly sensational.
But I could say the same about Byron Buxton when it comes to hype.
Most shortstops don’t have a great hit tool either. Aside from pitchers and catchers it’s just about the lightest hitting position on the roster.
I don’t know if he’s over hyped, just over injured. When you don’t stay healthy it’s hard to stay in the groove.
Fever Pitch Guy
GASox – I agree it was like that decades ago, but ever since the ARod/Jeter/Nomar era we have seen shortstops who can actually hit.
Mondesi’s career OPS is .687
Last year 13 regular shortstops had an OPS of between .715-.834
In 2021 there were 19 regular shortstops with an OPS of between .695-.911
Mondesi simply hasn’t lived up to the hype, he’s basically Glenn Hoffman.
Not sure why putting Mondesi on the 60-day IL would keep him out until late May. He never played in any Spring Training game, so couldn’t he be put on the 60-day IL retroactive to the beginning of ST? Trevor Story went on the 60-day IL on February 16th. I would think at the very least Mondesi could be retroactively placed on there back to the beginning of March.
I don’t understand the Lukes experiment. This is one year too late, last year was his time with only Biggio as the other LHH. Instead they traded for Tapia
I really hope he succeeds, I’m certainly rooting for him. I just don’t understand why Ruf or Pache aren’t brought in as 26th men, if you want a RHH or a defensive specialist.
Lukes is going to see limited time vs RHP barring injuries, is being set up to fail vs LHP (ignoring last years reverse splits) AAA LHP is not the same as MLB LHP obviously
Getting one of those fringe RHH OF looking for work today and keeping Lukes getting regular ABs in AAA until an injury or poor performance happens would probably be better. But I also believe Biggio is about to have a great season, so what do I know
I think you’ve laid out the facts pretty well to understand the Lukes experiment. Grichuk was a dead contract so they traded him and cash to make him go away. Tapia was the booby-prize which they felt was better than Lukes. The FO them acquired Zimmer, which the though was better than Lukes. Then they acquired JBJ, which they though was better than Lukes.
Zimmer and Tapia signed MiLB deals. JBJ is still teamless I believe.
This isn’t a criticism of Lukes by any means. I just want to point out that when the Twins were concerned about Buxton’s ability to remain healthy they sent a pair of lower ranked prospects to KC for Michael A. Taylor. The Jays chose Lukes after passing on Zimmer, JBJ, and Tapia.
has Mondesi ever been considered at OF? I’m assuming it’s a slightly less strenuous position injury wise ?
There was talk about the Royals considering moving Mondesi to CF to accommodate the arrival of Bobby Witt Jr. But the team decided to shift Witt to 3B instead. Of course Mondesi got injured and Witt eventually moved back to SS
That stat-line on Hamilton is very misleading. He did post those numbers in 28 IP but he also pitched an additional 18.2 with a 6-something ERA also at AAA in 2022 — so his overall ERA was closer to 4 than 2
Another bullseye for Chaim Bloom. Maybe we see Mondesi by July ? The Kansas City Royals must see Chaim Bloom coming the way they clean up the floor with him after the Benintendi trade and now the Mondesi trade. Way to go Chaim ! What a train wreck of a team and front office the Red Sox are.
Josh Taylor didn’t make the Royals roster out of spring training…hard to claim victory for the Royals just yet…
This is common among the haters. They want so badly to hate every move that they don’t think. I’m guessing that AL34 didn’t even remember who we traded for Mondesi, let alone know that Taylor didn’t make the roster.
Taylor gave up 11 hits in 7 innings in ST for Royals. I’d much rather have Mondesi and Angel Pierre.
At least Taylor is not out for two months. More like three months after a rehab assignment after the 60 days. Is anyone still in the Red Sox roster from the Benintendi trade.?
Is anyone still in the Red Sox roster from the Benintendi trade.?
Winckowski, DeLa Rosa, Gambrell & Valdez.
IMVHO, 6 years of Winc will out-produce the two years we lost of Benni. But there is a ton of variance in my assessment.
1) How do you know when Mondesi’s rehab will start?
2) Josh Winckowski is on the Red Sox 26-man roster. Is Benintendi still on the Royals roster? Did Benintendi help the Royals get to the playoffs? Win Boston.
If he’s playing in Omaha then Omaha won the trade?
Unlike many of Bloom’s choices, Mondesi has two things Boston didn’t have so this was an actual targeted deal that made sense. Boston is short on speed and defense along with many other things. Mondesi ONLY has two strengths. He’s an excellent defender and had tremendous speed before the ACL tear. He’s been in the majors to steal bases for KC since he was 20 years old in 2016. He’s never hit well in the high minors or majors. But he could steal 50 to 70 bases before he tore his ACL.
When you trade two inconsequential players like Mondesi and Taylor it’s hard to call it a win for either side. The teams swapped pennies. Mondesi was a known commodity that needed time to heal at the time of the trade so he was expected no earlier than June 1.
Could he help this year? Sure, if he still can steal and if he can’t he’s the best defensive shortstop on the team with Bogaerts in San Diego.
Was it a bad trade? Everything is relative. Compared to others by Bloom, it was a good trade. Would a real GM like DD have made the deal? Probably not because he seldom shops at the five and dime. I’ve had high hopes for Mondesi for years but he never showed the hand eye coordination it takes to stay at the MLB level. He’s a gifted athlete but very two dimensional = Defense and Base Stealing.
Fever Pitch Guy
KD – Excellent post as always! I said the same thing in the other thread, gifted athletes don’t necessarily equate to talent.
When you can maximize your athleticism into strong performance, THAT’S when you deserve to be called talented.
Would a real GM like DD have made the deal? Probably not because he seldom shops at the five and dime.
I don’t mind giving credit where credit is due, and this was a fine analysis. Too many RS fans see doom & gloom in every move. A lot of moves are two nickels for a dime.
But IRT your statement above, DD just made an identical move with Pache, which I like quite a bit. He paid a small price, and got a defense-first player, with the capacity to be a bit more if the bat develops. I’d have liked Pache for the RS.
Up until the last paragraph KD/pulled actually made a fair analysis. all Gms make these types of “penny store trades” but It wouldn’t be a KD 17/pulled post if he didn’t shoehorn in an insult towards Bloom though. I wonder if he just signed into the wrong account by accident…
It’s opening day and people have made many predictions about the 2023 season. Here is the breakdown of the schedule. It’s important because like last year, Boston struggled with good teams, did .500 against average teams and finished above .500 against bad teams. My 2023 breakout of teams are:
11 – Good – AL (NYY, TOR, TB, HOU, CLE) NL ( NYM, ATL, PHI, LAD, SD, MIL)
8 – Average – AL (BAL, TEX, SEA, LAA, MIN, CWS) NL (SF, STL)
11 – Bad – AL (KC, DET, OAK, BOS) NL (WAS, MIA, CHC, COL, PIT CIN, ARI)
Games scheduled against each type by month
APR – 10 good, 13 average and 6 bad
MAY – 12 good, 9 average and 6 bad
JUN – 16 good, 7 average and 6 bad
JUL – 5 good, 9 average and 9 bad
AUG – 16 good, 0 average and 10 bad
SEP/OCT – 12 good, 10 average and 6 bad
That totals to 71 vs GOOD, 48 vs AVG and 43 vs BAD
Moving to the balanced schedule has shifted the numbers from last year.
GOOD opponents dropped from 79 to 71
AVG opponents rose from 28 to 48
BAD opponents dropped from 55 to 43
Here are a few observations about how things might go this season:
1 – April, May and June will progressively get more difficult
2 – July is the equivalent to June of last year. It’s the easiest month by far
3 – August resembles Sept of last year when there were no average opponents just good and bad with the good outweighing the bad in games played.
The team should do well through the first 10 games. If they don’t this will be a very, very long year since the first three series are against BAL (AVG), PIT and DET (2 bad teams).
The rest of April will be much tougher.
If you assume 1 win out of 3 vs GOOD, 3 wins out of 6 versus AVG and 2 wins out of 3 vs BAD. then by the end of the home series versus CLE on April 30th the team should be 14-15.
April is easier than it was last year. Now we need the team to perform at a higher level thanks to it’s big drop off in talent.
Will the talent drop off impact the performance of the team in 2023? Time will tell.
Fever Pitch Guy
KD – Fantastic analysis! Unlike some other people, you have the intelligence to understand that strength of schedule is a major factor in the team’s record. Last year some people foolishly believed the Sox were a division title contender because they won many games early in the season against several weak teams (Oak, Tex, LAA, etc).
In the end, it was their horrific AL East record that sent their season down the toilet.
FPG – The balanced schedule helps Boston more than almost every team in baseball because they are the “BAD” team in the toughest division. Today was a crazy day as some great pitchers got hit hard but overall the loss to Baltimore hurts mostly because this is the part of the schedule where they have the best chance of winning. They need to turn things around vs BAL and beat up on PIT and DET to stay competitive because TB, LAA and MIN are a step up from BAL, PIT and DET and they come next.
My son was watching the game and texted me that Devers made another error that didn’t count as one because of the score keepers. It’s funny how a bad score keeper can camouflage a huge problem. It’s all part of the smoke and mirrors Bloom uses to make things look better than they really are.
It’s funny to watch the MLB channel discuss the Red Sox. There are the guys who are connected to Cora and Bloom who pretend they are better than they are and there are a couple of folks who pretty much roll their eyes when Kenny or Harold grossly exaggerate the team’s skill level. Should be interesting to see how long the public will accept this year’s marketing of the team by Bloom. They better win games to sell the lie. If not, they could be looking up on May 1 and seeing the Yankees 10 games or more ahead of them and May is a tougher month and June is probably the toughest month. The easy schedule around the all-star game should allow the marketing team to sell an improving team going into the second half. It won’t last long because August is another brutal month where they will be well below .500.
How have you been? If you ever want to take our discussions off line, just let me know. I enjoy exchanging ideas with you and sometimes it’s easier without all the noise.
Fever Pitch Guy
KD – I agree on both, the balanced schedule helping the Red Sox the most and Devers getting a gift call from the official scorer.
I’ve been okay thanks, how about you? Glad to see you back. I enjoy exchanging ideas too, but there’s no way of taking it offline because there’s no PM’s here. I wouldn’t want to dox myself by posting personal info, and I’m sure neither would you. Too many crazy Bloom suckups here.
FPG – My son joined the site and said things were pretty ugly. They kept claiming he was me and finally it got so bad he just decided to take a break from it so I contacted the site because it bothers me how aggressive people are to folks who don’t follow the company line.
I’m back to start the year but it’s going to be an ugly season so there is no reason to stick around and rub it into people like JB and others. In February 2020 I warned everyone this was going to happen and it has. I didn’t expect Bloom to take 3 years destroying DD’s team but he did and the fans paid for it. Now it’s a waiting game until ownership feels enough pressure and embarrassment with the lack of quality product.
I hope Sale throws well but yesterday was scary with regard to good pitchers getting hit hard. I watched deGrom get clobbered and then Nola. Cole was fortunate to play such a bad hitting team. Cole and Scherzer looked good but so many other studs got rocked. Let’s hope Baltimore doesn’t get to Sale. I want to see him make all the nay sayers eat crow.
Rustchman sure looked for real. He looks like the next superstar catcher in baseball. He could pass Realmuto in 2023 if he keeps it up. Do you have any guys you are high on this season? Rutschman and Witt were in my minors on my fantasy team so their promotion this year should help me a lot. Along with Franco, I’m hoping all three have great years. My young pitcher got clobbered yesterday. Hunter Greene impressed me when he was in HS so I’ve been rooting for him ever since.
Fever Pitch Guy
KD – Sorry to hear about your son, yes the Bloom suckups have gotten quite aggressive. They act like he’s their kid brother or something.
I made a pledge to be optimistic to start the season, so I’m keeping that pledge. I’m really high on Sale, Yoshida, Devers (offense only), and Casas. Throw in a healthy Houck and Whitlock, I think a postseason birth is at least within reach … but a whole lot has to go right.
I don’t think pressure and embarrassment matters to ownership, especially John Henry who can be quite arrogant and out of touch with the fanbase. What matters to them is the bottom line and particularly revenue. Once they see the projected huge drop in ticket sales and ratings, they will make some changes. No matter how loyal they are to Cora and Bloom, they are much more loyal to money.
Talk about manipulating ticket sales … I went online about an hour before gametime, thousands of tickets still available on the official website and there were dozens of tickets on StubHub as low as $14. The fanbase is not fooled, not at all.
I do think Rustchman is the real deal. Wieters was just okay, but Rustchman is twice as good.