Cincinnati Reds outfielder Donald Lutz is the first German-developed player to ever appear in a Major League Baseball game. He is now also the first German-developed player to hit a home run in the big leagues.
The 24-year-old rookie hit his first career home run in Cincinnati’s 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday afternoon. The milestone occurred in the second inning after Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce recorded singles. Lutz then followed with a hit that went off the right-field foul pole for the home run. The three-run blast gave the Reds an early lead that they would not relinquish. More importantly, it helped them complete the three-game sweep over the Brewers.
“That was a big home run by big Lutz,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said, according to Reds.com. “His first home run, so we were just afraid to slap hands with him, because he’s got some heavy hands.”
“Obviously, it’s a big one and helped us win the game and stuff,” Lutz told Reds.com. “It wasn’t like ‘OK, I have to hit one now. I told everybody whenever it happens, it happens.’ I already had more singles here than I had in the Minors the whole six weeks.”
The left-handed batter was called up from Double-A on April 29 after Cincinnati placed left-fielder Chris Heisey on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring. Lutz has not disappointed so far as he is batting .316 with five RBI, two stolen bases and three runs in 19 at-bats this season.
It will be interesting to see what the Reds decided to do with Lutz once Heisey is healthy enough to return to the active roster.