After making his MLB debut in 2023, Nathan Lukes looks like he’s in a precarious position to be the odd man out when Justin Turner joins the Blue Jays roster. The 29-year-old outfielder was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo and recalled to the big club five times last year and never got a chance to grab any real playing time.
He made 29 appearances in a Jays uniform, and like Clement, almost half of them were in a pinch-running or pinch-hitting role. Unlike Clement, Lukes didn’t do anything to help his case for more playing time, slashing a meager .192/.290/.308 over 31 plate appearances.
Honestly, it’s hard to find anything in his stats or underlying metrics that might convince the front office to keep him on the 40-man roster. He struck out at a 29 percent rate in his small sample of at-bats, and when he did make contact, there wasn’t enough behind it. He topped out with a 102.8 mph max EV and an 86.5 mph average EV without barreling a ball.
It’s unfortunate for Lukes because he hit in Buffalo last year, sporting a .366/.423/.530 slash line. He just doesn’t have the power or speed tools to make himself indispensable. Despite the .530 slugging percentage, he hit five home runs in his 48 games and ran a ridiculously high .401 BABIP.
Roster Resource doesn’t currently have Lukes on the active roster, and despite his ability in the outfield, he might get squeezed even further down the pecking order. With the versatile Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the Jays already have another body to plug in the outfield when needed.