Yankees manager Aaron Boone says Lucas Luetge will get final bullpen spot
Lucas Luetge hasn’t appeared in a big-league game since 2015 when he was with the Mariners.
That very well could change in the coming days.
The 34-year-old lefthander, a non-roster invitee to Yankees spring training, forced the club’s hand with a brilliant Grapefruit League season.
"Hard to deny what Lucas was able to come in [and do] really from the start of camp and, really, push his way onto the roster and earn his spot," Aaron Boone said Wednesday in naming the reliever to his bullpen, thus officially completing the club’s 26-man roster for Opening Day. "Excited to see what he can potentially go out and do for us."
Luetge was tremendous, allowing two runs, eight hits and two walks in 10 1/3 innings in which he struck out 18.
Rival scouts had mixed reviews on just how real those numbers were — he often got into games late against opposing team’s backups or minor leaguers — but were near unanimous on one point.
"Definitely deserving," one scout said. "Good story when a guy keeps grinding and figuring out how to be at his best. It [the stuff] looked good all spring, and he deserves it."
Luke Voit will start the season on the IL after undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn left meniscus last Monday, the third straight season in which the first baseman will have an IL stint. "It’s really frustrating," Voit said. "Really pride myself on taking care of myself. Luckily it’s not something more serious. But three years in a row, it’s frustrating. Just take the positives and try to get back as fast as I can."
Down a pitcher
Closer Aroldis Chapman will miss the first two games of the season as he serves the suspension, originally three games, given last September for throwing near the head of the Rays’ Mike Brosseau.
"We’ll just figure it out," Boone said of who will close. "I don’t have a set closer I’m going with. The kind of game and matchups will kind of dictate that. Hopefully we’re in a position to save a game and it very well could be a different guy each day. Potentially Greeny [Chad Green] or Darren O’Day, really anyone."
Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said OF George Springer, the 2017 World Series MVP with the Astros who signed a six-year, $150-million free agent deal in the offseason, would start the season on the IL with a Grade 2 strain of his left oblique. Montoyo said Long Island native, and former Met Steven Matz will not start in this series and instead is scheduled to pitch one of the games against the Rangers in Arlington, where the Blue Jays start a series Monday night.