|Tokyo Yakult Swallows – No. 53|
December 5, 1984 |
|April 3, 2011, for the Seattle Mariners|
(through 2014 season)
|Earned run average||6.16|
Joshua William Lueke (born December 5, 1984) is an American professional baseball relief pitcher for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of the Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB). He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays.
Lueke was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 16th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. On July 9, 2010, Lueke was traded to the Seattle Mariners along with Justin Smoak and fellow prospects Matt Lawson and Blake Beavan for Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe.
On April 3, 2011, he made his Major League debut for the Mariners against the Oakland Athletics. He threw two-thirds of an inning giving up four runs on two hits. He also had two walks and two strikeouts.
On March 16, 2013, the Rays optioned Lueke to their Triple-A team, the Durham Bulls.
On May 10, 2013, Lueke was recalled to join the Rays major league club. He pitched 11⁄3 innings in his season debut against the San Diego Padres, striking out two. Lueke was recalled by the Rays on September 1, 2013.
While in the Rangers organization Lueke was arrested following a May 2008 incident and charged with having committed rape and non-consensual sodomy. During the investigation Lueke lied to the police by denying he had sexual contact with the victim (an assertion proven false by DNA testing), and he pleaded no contest to lesser charges of false imprisonment with violence and was sentenced to 42 days in jail, time served prior to making bail.
After the July 9, 2010 trade that sent Lueke to the Seattle Mariners, team president Chuck Armstrong denied having any knowledge of Lueke's criminal past, and stated if he had known, he would have stopped the deal with Texas. Up to that point, the Mariners organization had a long history of supporting groups who oppose violence against women, running a campaign called "Refuse to Abuse" and had previously suspended and traded reliever Julio Mateo, who was accused of beating his wife. After an interview with Lueke, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik reported that he was "satisfied with the interview and it's an issue that's behind us." Former Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair later told reporters that he had informed Zduriencik of Lueke's legal troubles, and that Rangers GM Jon Daniels had made a standing offer to take Lueke back on the night of the trade. Adair had been the Rangers minor league pitching coordinator in 2008, when Lueke was charged.
- Rangers acquire Lee from Mariners
- Elias Sports Bureau (April 4, 2011). "Josh Lueke Stats, News, Pictures". ESPN. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
- Erik Hahmann (November 27, 2011). "Rays Trade John Jaso to Mariners for Josh Lueke". DRaysBay. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- Smith, Joe. "Rays callup Lueke seeks better results". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "Rays designated RHP Lueke for assignment". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
- Polishuk, Mark (June 9, 2014). "Outrighted to Triple-A: Josh Lueke, Kent Matthes". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
- Calcaterra, Craig (February 4, 2015). "Josh Lueke signs with a team in the Mexican League". hardballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
- Jose Gaspar (Jun 18, 2009). "Details of alleged rape by baseball player emerge". bakersfieldnow.com. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
- Baker, Geoff (July 11, 2010). "Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said he was not aware of Josh Lueke's no-contest plea". seattletimes.com. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
- Baker, Geoff (September 1, 2010). "Coach says Mariners were told of Josh Lueke's criminal past". seattletimes.com. Retrieved July 22, 2014.