Apr 17, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Josh Lueke (52) smiles in the dugout against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays designate Josh Lueke for assignment

Ahead of Saturday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, the Tampa Bay Rays announced that they have designated RHP Josh Lueke for assignment and recalled RHP Kirby Yates from triple-A Durham.

Lueke was 1-2 on the season for Tampa with a 5.64 ERA in 25 relief appearances, posting a 19/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 30 innings.

In 2008 as a member of the Rangers organization, Lueke was arrested and charged with rape and non-consensual sodomy after an incident involving a woman he met at a bar. He later spent 42 days in jail after pleading down to false imprisonment with violence.

Lueke was later traded to the Seattle Mariners, apparently after the Rangers misled Seattle about Lueke’s criminal history. He was traded on to Tampa in 2011.

At the time of the Tampa trade, Lueke said to reporters that he was moving on from the alleged rape incident which he described as “a freak accident kind of thing.”

Lueke’s past led to renewed controversy earlier this year thanks to a Deadspin piece detailing the ongoing debate about whether Lueke should be forgiven. The controversy was given further fuel after an SB Nation blogger partially defended Lueke, saying “If you think tweeting that Josh Lueke is a rapist every time he pitches means you’re more anti-rape than other people you are dense.”

The newly recalled Kirby Yates was 1-0 in Durham with 16 saves and a 0.36 ERA.

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Tags: Josh Lueke Tampa Bay Rays

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