Luis Lunar

From BR Bullpen

Luis José Lunar Tejera

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Luis Lunar pitched professionally for a quarter-century. His career took him to the US, Venezuela, Mexico and Italy.


Lunar was originally signed by the New York Mets. He debuted in 1975 with the Marion Mets, going 6-3 with a 3.69 ERA. He tied for 4th in the Appalachian League in wins, tied for 7th in complete games (4) and was 9th with 64 strikeouts. He fell to 7-15 with the 1976 Wausau Mets and walked 109 in 166 innings, but lowered his ERA to 3.31. He tied Tom Joyce for the most losses in the Midwest League, tied Ron Hodges and Steve Watson for 3rd with 12 complete games, tied for 8th with 2 shutouts, tied Rick O'Keeffe and Rich Scheller for 4th in IP, was 4th in walks (between Mark Clear and Scheller), was 4th in K (134, between Mike Dempsey and Dean Olson), tied Keith MacWhorter for the most hit batters (11), led with 6 balks (one more than Mark Souza) and led with 17 wild pitches. No Mets farmhand had more losses, though his ERA was better than most Mets minor leaguers that year.

He began a long Venezuelan League career that winter. He was 1-2 with a 2.72 ERA for the Tiburones de La Guaira then allowed one earned run in one postseason inning. [1] He spent the summer of 1977 with Wausau (4-7, 4.45) and the Jackson Mets (2-6, 4.21). He tied Dwight Bernard for 2nd in the Mets farm system in defeats, was 3rd with 177 innings (behind Mike Scott and Juan Berenguer) and led all Mets minor leaguers with 173 whiffs (13 more than Berenguer). In fact, he was 5th in all of minor league baseball in Ks, between Ted Barnicle and Berenguer, a promising sign in an otherwise rough year. [2]

After a busy summer, he had a busy winter, going 3-5 with a 3.41 ERA for the Tiburones though he was rocked in the postseason (3 ER, 1/3 IP). He tied Mike Nagy for 4th in the league in losses. In '78, he was 8-9 with a 3.79 ERA for Jackson, though his K totals were well down (78 in 159 IP). He was 10th in the Texas League in ERA despite ranking 3rd in walks (113, trailing Lee Smith and Gary Pickert). [3] In the winter, he struggled for La Guaira (0-2, 7.33 ERA, 1.89 WHIP), showing no indication he would still be active in Venezuela 20 years later.

Lunar ended his US career in 1979 with Jackson (0-2, 6.14 ERA, 28 BB in 22 IP) and also pitched for the Caracas Metropolitanos (1-1, 2.25 in 2 G) and the Alijadores de Tampico (2-3, 3.33). [4] His US career now over, he pitched for the Tiburones in 1979-1980 (1-4, 4.69, 41 BB in 48 IP). He was 3rd in the LVBP in walks, behind Todd Heimer and Berenguer, both of whom worked significantly more innings.


In 1980-1981, he was 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA for the Tiburones and pitched two postseason innings with no earned runs, starting to turn the corner. In 1981-1982, he was 0-3 with a 5.45 ERA followed by 0-4, 3.62 in 1982-1983 (the Tiburones won the title but he did not play in the postseason) and 2-2, 4.30 in 1983-1984. Wildness remained an issue as he walked 75 in 111 innings those three winters combined. In 1984-1985, he was 2-1 with a save and a 4.84 ERA for La Guaira, then had one hit, two walks and no earned runs in 1/3 of a postseason inning. The Tiburones won the pennant.

The Anaco native returned to Mexico in 1985 after a five-season absence. He posted a 12-10, 4.19 record for the Sultanes de Monterrey. That winter, he was 2-3 with 2 saves and a 3.22 ERA for the Tiburones despite 29 walks in 36 1/3 innings. He was 1-1 with a 2.79 ERA in the postseason as his time his team won the LVBP title. He was 10-13 with 6 saves and a 4.39 ERA in the summer of '86, split between the Aguila de Veracruz, Bravos de León and Algodoneros de Torreon.

In the winter of 1986-1987, he was 5-6 with a 2.82 and a save in 20 games (9 starts) for the Tiburones. He tied for 8th in the league in wins and was 8th with 83 IP (between Craig McMurtry and Rich Garces). He allowed one earned run in three postseason innings. In 1987, he was 4-1 with 12 saves and a 2.23 ERA for the Piratas de Campeche. The winter after that, he was 3-4 with a 2.67 ERA for La Guaira. His three complete games tied Hugh Kemp for 3rd in the circuit.

Lunar went 7-8 with 16 saves and a 2.06 ERA for the 1988 Piratas. He was second in the Mexican League in both saves (one behind Salome Barojas and games pitched (two behind Jeff Perry). [5] He was 2-5 with two saves and a 4.38 ERA in 23 games for the 1988-1989 Tiburones, issuing 25 walks in 39 IP. In 2 2/3 postseason innings, he allowed no earned runs. He tied Miguel García for 6th in the 1988-1989 LVBP in games pitched and tied for 7th in losses.

He remained Campeche's closer for one more year (4-8, 12 Sv, 2.77) but had a 7.71 ERA in four games for the Tiburones that winter; for the first time in his 14 seasons in Venezuela, he wound up playing for a team other than La Guaira, pitching 17 games for the Tigres de Aragua (0-2, Sv, 3.21).


Luis pitched his last season in Mexico in 1990, going 7-8 with 7 saves and a 3.47 ERA for the Tuneros de San Luis. As of 2000, his 53 career saves were still tied with David Sinohui for 34th in Mexican League history. [6] He was back with the Tiburones for all of 1990-1991, going 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. In 1991-1992, he was 0-4 with a 4.82 ERA for La Guaira. He was out of the LVBP in 1992-1993 to temporarily end his long association with the league, but he would return. He may have pitched in Colombia that winter; an article lists him as having appeared in Colombia before Italy. [7]

In 1993, he pitched for Macerata in Italy's Serie A2. He was 8-7 with a save and a 1.73 ERA, striking out 200 in 146 IP. He was 3rd in the league in Ks, behind Aris Tirado and Yfrain Linares. [8]

Macerata moved up to Italy's top league, Serie A1, in 1994 and Lunar remained a key part of the team. He was 5-9 with a 2.86 ERA in and struck out 147 in 129 IP, completing 12 of 15 starts to hearken back to his ironman role in the 1970s Mets chain. He tied Giuseppe Di Patria for 4th in 1994 Serie A1 in losses, tied Ray Chadwick for the most complete games and was second to Chadwick in strikeouts.

He marked his return to the LVBP after a two-year absence in 1994-1995, doing a fine job in relief for the Petroleros de Cabimas (3-2, 5 Sv, 2.48 in 25 G). He tied Kurt Archer for 6th in the league in saves. That summer, he switched Italian clubs, joining Juventus Torino. The 40-year-old posted a 13-4, 1.92 record in the regular season with 176 K in 159 IP and a .216/.259/.264 opponent batting line. He struggled in the semifinals (0-2, 5.14) against the Cariparma Angels. He was one of the league's most dominant hurlers in the 1995 Serie A1, finishing second in wins (one behind Gianni Ricci), complete games (one behind Joel Lono), ERA (.27 behind Cuban great Faustino Corrales) and strikeouts (8 shy of Corrales) while leading with five shutouts. Lunar was 0-1 with a save and a 3.98 ERA for the 1995-1996 Pastora de Occidente club.

Lunar became player-manager for Torino in 1996, piloting them to the playoffs and contributing as their ace hurler as well (8-3, 2.65, 36 BB in 119 IP in the regular season; 1-1, 4.50 in the semifinals). He beat fellow Venezuelan veteran Carlos Hernandez for the ERA title by .09. Massimo Fochi had a lower ERA and would have qualified based on the standards used in almost all US leagues historically but did not meet Italy's standards.

He was 0-2 with 8 saves and a 4.09 ERA for Occidente in 1996-1997. He finished second in the league in saves, four behind Ken Robinson, who was five years old when Luis was making his pro debut. He won Comeback Player of the Year. [9] He managed Caserta to a 32-22 record in the 1997 Serie A1 but did not pitch that summer.

In 1997-1998, he was excellent for Pastora de Los Llanos at age 42. He was 4-1 with a save and a 1.15 ERA, though his old wildness was back (26 BB in 31 1/3 IP). He had a 3.86 ERA in six postseason appearances. He was nine years older than his next-youngest teammate and many of them were born after Lunar had pitched his first pro game. He tied Santos Hernandez for 2nd in the LVBP with 32 games pitched, behind only Jose Villa. He did this despite being the league's oldest hurler by far, 7 years older than Urbano Lugo.

The right-hander was player-manager for Grosseto in the 1998 Serie A1, going 6-5 with a 4.71 ERA in the regular season and 0-1, 6.00 in the semifinals. That ended his Italian career. He had gone 41-32 with a save and a 2.69 ERA, completing 53 of 84 starts (11 shutouts) and allowing a .230/.287/.319 batting line. Through 2015, he is among Italy's career leaders in ERA (38th, between Villa and Enzo Lauri), complete games (tied for 35th with Mark Talarico), strikeouts (751, 37th), WHIP (1.16, tied for 24th with Giuseppe Silva and Alberto Mally), K/BB ratio (14th, between Cipriano Ventura and Martin Sanchez), fewest BB/9! (2.60, 21st, between Mally and Roberto Corradini), fewest H/9 (7.83, 45th, between Riccardo Landucci and Riccardo De Santis) and K/9 (9.95, 10th, between Mario Sangilbert and Juan Vigna).

He ended his playing career with Pastora in 1998-1999, going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in ten games. He finished his LVBP career with 21 seasons pitched. In 332 games (64 starts), he was 31-55 with 22 saves. He walked 472 and struck out 492 in 765 2/3 IP while allowing 689 hits. Through 2018-2019, he was tied for 4th in LVBP history in seasons pitched (21, even with Gilberto Marcano and behind only Giovanni Carrara, José Bracho and Luis Peñalver), tied Juan Pulido for 10th in losses, 12th in games pitched (between Carrara and Jean Toledo), 23rd in innings (between Omar Bencomo Sr. and Valentin Arevalo), 3rd in walks (after Bracho and Julián Ladera) and 18th in strikeouts (between Luis Leal and Alex Herrera). His 15 seasons with La Guaira were 3rd in team history behind Felipe Lira and Enrique González. Only Lira and Aurelio Monteagudo pitched more games for La Guaira.

Lunar was a full-time manager in Italy in the 1999 Serie A1, guiding Grosseto to a 29-19 record and a playoff slot. He guided Caserta to a 29-25 record in the 2001 Serie A1. He later worked with the Universidad Central de Venezuela (as a coach?) then returned to Italy as pitching coach for Torino, then in the Italian minors. [10]


  1. Pelotabinaria; all Venezuelan stats referenced on this page are from this site
  2. BR register, 1977 K leaders
  3. 1979 Baseball Guide, pg. 477
  4. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros, pg. 384; unless otherwise cited, this is the source for all Mexican League statistics in this biography
  5. 1989 Baseball Guide, pg. 372-374
  6. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics, pg. 64
  7. 2008 article on Lunar, from the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation site
  8. Italian Baseball and Softball Federation; this is the source for all Italian stats unless otherwise mentioned
  9. Venezuelan League Awards
  10. 2008 Italian Baseball and Softball Federation article on Lunar, cited previously