The Rays have designated Josh Lueke for assignment, according to Marc Topkin.
#Rays have DFA'd Lueke.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) June 7, 2014
Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers, Lueke went to Seattle in a trade that also sent Cliff Lee to the Mariners. After the 2011 season, the Rays traded John Jaso, base-running extraordinaire, to Seattle, acquiring Lueke. Jaso went on to find success with the M's and the A's, while Lueke never really seemed to put his stuff together.
In Durham, Lueke had an incredible 2013 season, putting up an ERA of 0.63 and striking out 81 batters, while walking only 15 in just over 57 innings. When he was on, his fastball could hit 98 and his slider was a plus pitch with wicked movement. Nonetheless, Lueke was never able to put it together in the majors, and in 2014 Lueke's appearance in the game has been tantamount to a white flag for Rays fans. This year, he has been unable to recreate his great strikeout numbers, and has allowed 38 hits in 30.1 innings.
Lueke will now either be traded or put on waivers, and it is unlikely that one of the 29 other teams will not take a flyer on him, although any team that does so will also be acquiring a bit of bad press with Lueke's past legal history, the nature of which is well known to most in baseball by now. Nonetheless, this is very likely the last time we will see Josh Lueke in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform.
Kirby Yates has been recalled from Durham and will be making his major league debut soon. This year he has been outstanding as Durham's closer, posting an ERA of 0.36 and leading all of Triple-A Baseball with 16 saves. Throughout the minor leagues he has shown consistent strikeout rates (just over 12 Ks/9) and may be used in higher leverages situations very soon.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Welcome to the big leagues, Kirby Yates (<a href="https://twitter.com/KauaisHaole">@KauaisHaole</a>)! He's now second in <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB">@MLB</a> history with given first name Kirby. The other's in the HOF.</p>— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) <a href="https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball/statuses/475316287972073474">June 7, 2014</a></blockquote>
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