Rays first baseman and outfielder Jordan Luplow successfully underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle today, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Tampa Bay expects Luplow to be recovered in time for the start of 2022 Spring Training.
The Rays acquired Luplow along with reliever DJ Johnson in a midseason deal with Cleveland to deepen their bench down the stretch. Luplow’s health status at the time hinted at this offseason procedure, as he was rehabbing in the minors with a left ankle sprain when the trade took place.
The trade proved fruitful, but perhaps in unexpected ways for the playoff contending Rays. Luplow, who to this point in his Major League career only appeared in the three outfield positions and DH, primarily manned first base and garnered positive marks there for the Rays. His resume continued to expand as he also went on to make cameos at second and third base, in addition to contributing an inning of one-run ball as a pitcher.
Further, the right-handed Luplow made his mark in the Cleveland organization for being a lefty masher, sporting an OPS of .899 when holding the platoon advantage in his career. In both Tampa and the year on the whole, however, Luplow’s skillset reversed, as he pulverized right-handed pitching but stumbled to a sub-.700 OPS against lefties. The resulting overall .202/.326/.454 slash on the year was good for an OPS+ of 115 when factoring in Luplow’s pitcher-friendly home parks, but newfound success against same-handed pitchers may add a wrinkle to how the team evaluates him moving forward.