LHP Cory Luebke to miss 2014; Surgery Possible
Southpaw Cory Luebke hasn’t been on a big league mound since April of 2012, and it appears that he may not be on one again until 2015.
The left-handed ace, who received a three-year contract extension worth $12 million back during Spring Training of 2012, had an MRI on his left elbow last Friday the revealed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament. If the tear is a severe one, a second Tommy John surgery could be required in addition to his missing the entirety of the 2014 season. MLB.com’s own Corey Brock announced the setback Tuesday evening.
Luebke, a 28-year old first-round draft pick from the 2007 amateur draft, debuted with the Padres back in 2010, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.08 ERA over four starts. Over the course of his career with the team, Luebke has sported an 3.25 ERA overall with a 10-12 record in 55 games, with 25 of those games coming as starts.
The young left-hander had been in a rehabilitation program following his first Tommy-John surgery in May of 2012. Since starting the program, Luebke has had several bumps along the way. Last September, Luebke’s rehabilitation actually came to a stop following discomfort and pain that he experienced while throwing.
Luebke resumed his rehabbing in late December by throwing off a bullpen mound, but following further discomfort in recent days the team staff took another look at his elbow. After finding the tear, it is likely that Cory will undergo a second reconstructive surgery on his throwing arm.
Pitching coach Darren Balsely thought that Luebke had dominate power back in the Spring of 2012, but ever since his injury that thought will have to be put on hold. With the announcement of Luebke’s absence from the 2014 season, the team may look to adding another strong arm to join the Padres rotation.
Luebke is set to make $3 million this upcoming season thanks to the contract extension he received in 2012.