Here’s a name that might have slipped your mind. Elvis Luciano, the 19-year-old pitcher the Blue Jays grabbed from the Kansas City Royals in the Rule 5 draft, is set to be activated from the 60-day Injured List on either Wedensday or Thursday.
Expect Elvis Luciano to be activated from IL either Wed. or Thurs., which would leave enough time for the 19-year-old to accumulate the minimum 90 days on the active roster in order to remove Rule 5 restrictions heading into next year.
Likely starts in Double-A in 2020.#BlueJays
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) September 10, 2019
Luciano has been injured since early June with a case of Rule 5-itis, though it’s been called a right elbow sprain. The play here, of course, was to stash Luciano somewhere so the Jays could A) not totally gut his confidence pitching well above his head at the Major League level and B) clear a spot on the 25- and 40-man rosters for actual Major League players.
Luciano was left on the Injured List for just long enough that he could fulfill the 90-day threshold on the active roster to ensure the Blue Jays didn’t have to give him back to the Royals. As Scott Micthell reports, Luciano will be able to his that 90-day threshold before the end of the season, even if he doesn’t pitch once in September.
The Jays ended up coming out of the Rule 5 draft like bandits. Grabbing Luciano thanks to an odd loophole that exposed him earlier than usual was an excellent move to make for a rebuilding team. While there was some outrage about taking Luciano and allowing other prospects to be left off the 40-man roster, the Jays ended up having both Jordan Romano and Travis Bergen, who had been selected by other teams in the Rule 5 draft, given back to them during the season.
Luciano will reportedly start in Double-A New Hampshire next season, so this whole meaneuver essentially resulted in them getting a quality pitching prospect for nothing more than a few months of a throwaway roster spot.