Orioles ink Josh Lucas to minor league deal

Mike Elias has tapped into his Cardinals past to find pitching for the Orioles.

The Orioles announced this evening that they’ve signed right-hander Josh Lucas to a minor league contract. The Cardinals drafted him in the 21st round in 2010 and he spent seven seasons in the organization.

Elias, hired earlier this month as the Orioles’ executive vice president and general manager, worked in the scouting department in St. Louis before joining the Astros in 2012.

Lucas, 28, appeared in five game with the Cardinals in 2017 and eight with the Athletics this summer, and has compiled a 5.40 ERA and 1.662 WHIP in 21 2/3 innings. He’s averaged 5.4 walks and 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings.

Orioles-Pins-Shirt-Sidebar.jpgThe A’s acquired Lucas from the Cardinals on March 31 for minor league pitcher Casey Meisner after the right-hander tossed 11 1/3 scoreless innings in spring training, appeared to be vying for a late-inning bullpen role and instead was designated for assignment. He allowed 10 earned runs (11 total) and 16 hits over 14 1/3 innings with Oakland, walking nine batters and striking out 14.

Lucas registered a 3.68 ERA in five relief appearances with St. Louis in 2017.

In 31 relief appearances this summer at Triple-A Nashville, Lucas posted a 2.56 ERA and 1.112 WHIP in 38 2/3 innings and surrendered only two home runs. His last game in the majors came on July 1 against the Indians, when he allowed four runs and four hits and walked two batters in one inning.

Lucas, listed at 6-foot-6, notched 17 saves with Triple-A Memphis in 2017 and five this year with Nashville.

The Cardinals reassigned Lucas to minor league camp in 2017 after he tossed five scoreless innings in Grapefruit League games and was praised by manager Mike Matheny.

“He had a great camp,” Matheny told reporters. “He made some advancements in his demeanor on the mound. I like his stuff. He’s a little bit funky, a little different arm angle. He’s going to be tough on right-handers.

“Every time he (pitched), I said, ‘This guy looks like he belongs here.’ So he’s just going to have to go get some work and consistency.”

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