The Blue Jays should've made a roster change before the Angels series
By Eric Treuden
Prior to the three game series against the Los Angeles Angels, the Toronto Blue Jays should have made a roster change.
Update: they made the move.
Nathan Lukes, a left-handed hitter who only just recently made his big league debut after a seven-year stint in the minor leagues, should've been demoted. Nothing against Lukes in any way, but he's been a scarcely used player early in the season and likely will not get even a little bit of playing time in the lefty-heavy series in Los Angeles.
So far through the first two series of the season, Lukes has gotten into just three games, all as a pinch runner. He has typically shown off above-average speed in the minor leagues, but you'd have to think that he could be used as more than a simple benchwarmer.
In Lukes' place the Blue Jays could've brought up Jordan Luplow, a right-handed hitter, to fill in and add even more right-handedness to the Blue Jays lineup. This is a simple move of playing the matchups and since both players have minor league options remaining, it feels like a no-brainer.
Luplow, 29, was only just claimed off of waivers from the Atlanta Braves. He has bounced around the league a bit during his six-year tenure in the big leagues and has established himself as a hitter who excels against left-handed pitching. In his career, Luplow has 31 home runs and 71 RBI with an OPS+ of 125 against lefties while he's right at the Mendoza Line against righties.
When the Blue Jays claimed him, Luplow was promptly sent down to the minor leagues. He can freely be shuffled between the major and minor leagues since he still has another option tied to his name, so he could've easily been called up prior to this series. On the mound for the Angels will be Patrick Sandoval, Tyler Anderson and Reid Detmers, all left-handed pitchers.
To Lukes' credit, he had a .327 average last year against lefties in 64 games but he only managed a .246 average against them the year before. Making a Lukes-for-Luplow swap, even if it's just for one series, makes too much sense in this instance.