So who is Cory Luebke anyway? …
This is a fair question for Padres fans, who, unlike previous seasons, haven’t had to learn a new batch of starting pitchers during the season.
Say what you want about the Padres recent woes — they’re on a seven-game losing skid going into Friday’s game against the Rockies — but their starting rotation has remained nearly in tact with the exception of Chris Young (shoulder) and the spot start by Tim Stauffer in May.
Anyway, back to Friday’s starting pitcher, Cory Luebke, who will also be making his Major League debut. Here’s the thing about Luebke: Had he not been sidelined by a strained left oblique coming out of Spring Training, he might have been here by now already.
As it stands, Luebke, the Padres’ first-round pick (63rd) overall out of Ohio State in 2007 is here after a nice run through the Minor Leagues this season.
He was 10-1 with a 2.68 ERA between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Portland, though the numbers you should be paying attention to are his hits-per-innings ratio (83 hits, 114 innings) and his opponents batting average (.200).
Randy Smith, the Padres director of player development, calls Luebke a “winner” and it’s easy to see why. He’s 21-5 the last two seasons in the Minor Leagues.
Luebke probably pegs as a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the Major Leagues — eventually. He is a three-pitch guy, with a fastball that runs 89-93 mph with life and isn’t afraid to pitch inside. His secondary pitches are his slider and change-up, with the slider being his strikeout pitch. He throws strikes and challenges hitters.
So there you go.
We’ll see how it all works out tonight for Luebke, who is getting a start to give the rest of the rotation an extra day of rest. If he pitches reasonably well, he could replace someone in the starting rotation.
Corey Brock, MLB.com