Blue Jays minor league depth takes a hit as Nathan Lukes undergoes surgery

if the injuries at the big league level wasn’t already enough, the Blue Jays lose yet another valuable depth piece
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays haven’t been so lucky in recent weeks with regards to the injury front. Starter Alek Manoah was lost for the season due to an injury to his right elbow that required season-ending surgery. Closer Jordan Romano is currently on the IL as a result of right elbow inflammation. Shortstop Bo Bichette has been nursing some soreness in his right calf. Finally, reliever Yimi García had to leave Sunday’s game to what was diagnosed as right elbow soreness as well.

However, it hasn’t been happening to just the big league team, as the injury bug has also hit one of the Jays’ standouts from spring training in depth outfielder Nathan Lukes. Lukes underwent surgery this past Wednesday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. He suffered the hand injury during the game between the Buffalo Bisons and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on June 7.

Despite a strong showing during spring training with the Jays, Lukes failed to make the club’s Opening Day roster. Nevertheless, he had since been putting together a strong season with the Bisons to date, hitting a solid .333 with an .886 OPS, along with 25 runs scored, 7 doubles, 6 home runs, 27 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 44 games played. He was hoping that his consistent performance and hard work would eventually earn him another shot at the big leagues some time this season. However, his current injury will likely push that back now to a much later date as there is currently no timeline yet on his return.

With the Bisons short of outfield depth as a result of Lukes’ injury and the recent call-up of Addison Barger to the major leagues, Jays Journal No. 6 prospect Alan Roden was recently promoted from Double-A New Hampshire as a result of the roster shuffling.

In the meantime, hopefully Lukes’ recovery from surgery ends up going smoothly. In doing so, he could be a potential valuable depth piece for the Jays down the stretch with his solid combination of hitting, speed and defense in his complete repertoire.