Cory Luebke To Miss 2014 Season With Torn UCL

Padres southpaw starter Cory Luebke will not be a rotation option for San Diego after an MRI found a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock. After missing most of 2012 and all of last year as he rehabbed from a prior Tommy John surgery, Luebke appears headed for a second procedure.

Luebke had been expected to play a major role in the team's rotation plans for the coming season. GM Josh Byrnes expressed dismay at the "mystery" of Luebke's elbow issues. Though the Friars still have plenty of options to take the ball every fifth day, the injury certainly takes away one layer of security (and one possible source of some upside for the club). Though the club's depth means that an immediate addition is not an obvious necessity, the injury certainly has an impact on San Diego's current and future rotation plans.

Through 55 career appearances, 25 of them starts, Luebke has recorded 188 1/3 innings of 3.25 ERA ball, including 9.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. Luebke is still under contract for this season and next under the three-year, $12MM extension he signed before the 2012 year. The Padres hold club options for the 2016-17 season, though it is premature to consider what the decision will look like on those at this point.


37 Responses to Cory Luebke To Miss 2014 Season With Torn UCL Leave a Reply

  1. jp1198 1 year ago

    Oof. Tough for the Padres.

  2. Eric 1 year ago

    Too bad.

    This demonstrates why signing team-friendly deals makes sense for players in some situations.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

      Absolutely right. Three years to arb and three more to free agency — lotta time to cover without hitting injury or performance issues. Depending on the player, the risk may not be that great, but the downside certainly is. Sacrificing some upside in the deal often makes a ton of sense for the player.

      In my view, the “team-friendly” label gets thrown around too easily for deals involving players with little service time.

      • pft2 1 year ago

        Also, players know their own health better than anyone and don’t always disclose all to the team. Those most likely to sign extensions may not feel 100%, especially pitchers. MRI’s don’t always show problems.

  3. Ellis Mitchell 1 year ago

    That really sucks. Hopefully, Luebke returns healthy in 2015 and will do well in the rotation like he did a few years ago.

  4. Kyle 1 year ago

    What a horrible blow for Luebke and the Padres. It seemed like he was really nearing elite level before all the injuries. As a Dodger fan living in SD, I always enjoyed watching him pitch.

  5. SDOurTeamOurTown 1 year ago

    This is horrible news. He was a very promising pitcher and when he was on the mound he looked to have the ability to be a # 2 or better. I was looking forward to his being part of a very good pitching rotation. I feel for the young man. It must be so disheartening. Good luck Cory and to a solid recovery.

  6. pft2 1 year ago

    I have to wonder at the late find. Don’t they do exams at the end of the year to make sure everything is Ok going into the offseason.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 1 year ago

      Well, what about Hellickson
      Plus, Mitch Williams said he had a throwing program in November and December, so yeah I wondering what is wrong with everyone these days.
      Padres can sign Arroyo I suppose or Capuano.

      I mean lots of good things in Sunny San Diego, so hopefully they can find a wiling replacement.

      • pft2 1 year ago

        Exactly, and a couple of years ago the Red Sox don’t know guys like Crawford and Lowell needed surgery until December/January. Maybe they hope the rest will eliminate the need for surgery or something.

      • David Nevin 1 year ago

        Just say no to Arroyo and Capuano.Luebke was a longshot for the rotation anyway.More likely he spent the year in the Pen.
        We have starters in house.

        • Pads Fans 1 year ago

          Luebke was considered the best starter on the Padres at the time he was injured originally. He was better than anyone on the staff today not named Cashner and Cashner has only part of one season as a starter. Byrnes said in December that Luebke would be in the pen to build up arm strength and then move into the starting rotation. Much like what the Padres did with Cashner last season.

          • bigkahunaron4826 1 year ago

            And how much time did Cory have as a starter? With his arm injuries, there’s no upside to Luebke anymore. The Padres need to look at their other young pitchers, develop strength programs that keep them healthy and make them all buy into it, and hire pitching coaches who can help their youngsters develop their talents.

      • artthoumad 1 year ago

        The Pads are definitely not going to sign Arroyo. I think mgmt already that Leubke was going to the bullpen to build arm strength to maybe join the rotation if needed

  7. Kiearamarie 1 year ago

    I just died a little inside. He’s my favorite player and he has another horrible problem on his plate.

  8. Runtime 1 year ago

    But hey, at least they have Josh Johnson!

  9. Pads Fans 1 year ago

    The season hasnt even started and Padres injury woes have already begun. You have to wonder what the team is doing wrong since they are in the top 5 or so in injuries every year for the past decade or more. Strap yourself in kiddos, its going to be a long season for Padres fans.

  10. Ryan Stall 1 year ago

    Well, this is terrible news. I mean everyone was counting on Luebke coming back and doing what he did at the beginning of the 2012 season. I’d sure hope he’s the only guy who gets injured. The Padres had enough of the injury bug the last two seasons. If it happens again this season there is just no way we can contend.

  11. Youjustgotpetcoed 1 year ago

    It’s ridiculous how much the padres players get hurt. The trainers and conditioning staff need to be fired ASAP.

    • Kyle 1 year ago

      Agreed, there has to be someone to hold responsible for these injuries wide spread across the organization, most as a result from rushed returns back from injury or from fatigue from too much time in the cages(i.e. Quentin and Maybin). The head trainer and the fitness coach should be done away with. Makes me wonder if the staff let Luebke push his way back too soon resulting in another UCL tear or if the surgery was even a success to begin with.

  12. Beersy 1 year ago

    If there is any good news at all here, it’s that if he gets the surgery ASAP he can hopefully be ready by next spring training and will again be able to be a lefty out of the pen for the season. Luebke wasn’t going to help in the rotation this year unless a huge rash of injuries to the rotation, I know it’s not looking good already, so lets hope he heals well and can help out next year. It’s looking like a good move that the Padres didn’t deal Stults right now. Matt Wisler’s chances of making some sort of cameo in San Diego just went up however.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      Its much harder the come back from a 2nd TJS and the prognosis is nowhere as good.

      • Derpy 1 year ago

        According to what? I haven’t seen data amounting to second TJ being any worse than first.

    • Pads Fans 1 year ago

      Go read the article by Corey Brock on Padres site. In December Byrnes said that Luebke was expected to start the year in the pen to build arm strength then move into the starting rotation. You don’t bury a talent like that in the pen all season. Stults and Kennedy simply are not as good as Luebke was prior to the injury.

  13. Beersy 1 year ago

    Should Byrnes be calling Boras about Oliver Perez right now to shore up the pen?

  14. LittleOtterPaws 1 year ago

    Why is it that every Padres pitcher seems to follow the same career path? 1 1/2 years of promising baseball and then the DL for 2+ only to come back for their age 30 season to be labeled as “trade bait”

  15. DinosSavedMammals 1 year ago

    This is a tough blow cause I always loved watching Luebke. But the rotation was always going to be Johnson, Ross, Cashner, Stults, with Smith, Erlin, Kelly. Luebke, Wieland seemingly fighting for the 5th at some point. So we aren’t in dire need of a pitcher, but this definitely makes the andriese trade curious.

    • marinest21 1 year ago

      Where is Ian Kennedy in that mix?

      • DinosSavedMammals 1 year ago

        If we bottom out I figure he’s a trade candidate to a contender. Johnson will want to build as much value from the confines of SD and wouldn’t want to be traded to someone like Texas or Yankees and lose money cause he pitched horribly for them. In the long run over the season Johnson Cashner Ross Stults and whoever fills Kennedy’s spot if we aren’t in it by trade deadline hence Wieland Kelly potentially being worked back in.

  16. MetsMagic 1 year ago

    This is really disappointing but I think the Padres might finally have close to enough pitching depth to weather the storm which always seems to hit hardest in San Diego.

    • marinest21 1 year ago

      I agree. Without a doubt I am bummed by losing Luebke and I hope he takes more than enough time to come back. But even in his absence, a rotation of Casher, Kennedy, Johnson, Ross, and Stults (my prediction) has the potential to be very good.

      Additionally (and like you mentioned), the starting pitching depth at the AAA level and even lower is impressive. Smith, Erlin, Wieland, Kelly, Sampson, Wisler, and Oramas make a group of very intriguing arms that are knocking at the door.

      Farther down, Fried, Roach, Hahn, Joe Ross, Needy, Elfin, could all rise to Smith, Erlin, et, al’s positions by the end of the 2014 year. Additionally, arms at these levels that may rebound/have the potential to have big years include Garces, Barbato, Weickel, Veribitsky, Schoenrock, and Pete Kelish (who had an astounding 69:1 K:BB ratio last summer in rookie ball. Yes, you read that correctly).

      Obviously, I really like the depth given the inevitability that not all these arms will pan out. Further, this list doesn’t even include relievers like Quackenbush, Torres, and Campos.

      • Tommy Kelly 1 year ago

        and Pete Kelish (who had an astounding 69:1 K:BB ratio last summer in rookie ball. Yes, you read that correctly).

        Which means that he is about four years away, given normal progression, and a lot can happen in four years. Every team has great players in rookie ball, very few of whom ever reach the majors in any meaningful way. It is not much different from saying that every player in professional baseball, at any level, was once a great high school player.

        • marinest21 1 year ago

          I don’t disagree that a lot can happen in four years or that many great players in rookie ball will not make a substantial impact in the majors. In fact, I labeled Kelish as an “arm that has the potential (key word) to have a big year.”

          But, a K:BB ratio like that at any level of professional baseball is extremely impressive. It was good enough to produce the best WHIP in professional baseball, including both minor and major leagues. Not all professional players – even if they were all phenomenal hs players – can make that claim. Rookie ball or not, I think it’s something worth noting and he fits aptly in my aforementioned category.

          • Tommy Kelly 1 year ago

            Because I had never heard of this guy, I went looking for him. The first thing I discovered is that his last name is Kelich, not Kelish. Also, he is fairly old for a guy in rookie ball, about to turn 23. A lot of the guys he pitched against are teenagers barely out of high school, just 18 and 19.

            His WHIP was so low, obviously, because he walked no one (almost). On the other hand, he also threw five wild pitches in just 58 innings, which seems rather high for a guy with such fabulous control (maybe he had a bad catcher). Otherwise, his complete pitching line was quite good, indeed.

            Overall, I remain skeptical on him. I am not a Padres fan. Over the years, I have followed a multitude of minor league players of my team (which I decline to disclose), including many who looked like wunderkinds in rookie and A ball. Precious few of them ever amounted to a hill of beans.

          • marinest21 1 year ago

            I apologize about the spelling, that’s my bad.

            I just think it’s kind of a moot point to say “Well, he’s only in rookie ball, so it’s highly unlikely he’ll amount to anything.” True, there’s a lot of guys who don’t make it, but there’s also many big leaguers who started at that level. Moreover, my initial point in referencing him was just to drop a name who has had a lot of success in a lower level of pro ball and may look to capitalize on that this year. I did not say he was gonna be a major league starter nor even a top prospect. But I would say (as I did originally) out of most of the arms at Class A and below, he has the likelihood of continuing that success.

  17. SwingtimeInTheRockies 1 year ago

    Tough break! After losing seasons to injuries by so many of their prospects, now this?

  18. istravin 1 year ago

    I’m not a doctor, but how do you not notice this stuff? The team is investing millions on this guy, you’d think they’d, you know, check. This seems really unprofessional.

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