Friars News & Notes – 12/29

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres made the Joaquin Benoit signing official yesterday. In a corresponding move, they also designated pitcher Adys Portillo for assignment. Although we’ve known for a while that Benoit was signed, the Padres took their time in making it official following the physical. Perhaps, the front office was trying to give Portillo a little more time to prove himself. He played in two separate Winter Leagues, the Arizona Fall League and the Venezuelan Winter League this year, never seeming to get it together. In the two leagues combined, Portillo was 2-2 with a 6.98 ERA, 18 K’s and 17 BB’s. Most likely the Padres will not find a trade partner to take Portillo. He is only 22 so, let’s hope he catches on with a team that can help him figure some things out.

When Bernie D’Amato and I were discussing our 2014 Organizational Depth Charts (coming soon!), Cory Luebke was one of the guys we had some questions about. Starting pitchers and Relievers were a little hard to figure out. When a minor league pitcher comes up, he is often slotted into the bullpen. Additionally, teams aren’t very quick to move a starter back to the bullpen. Would Luebke be considered a Starter because of his past or would he have to work his way up again? Luebke was great as a starter and would probably like to end up back there. But, a team in need of a left-handed reliever and a left hander returning from injury could be a match made in heaven. Apparently Josh Byrnes has the same idea. Josh Byrnes is still in search of a LOOGY so, he may want to check out my article highlighting several candidates. Whether Luebke ends up in the bullpen or starting, his (and everyone else’s) health is really what matters.

Topics: Adys Portillo, Cory Luebke, Joaquin Benoit, Josh Byrnes, LOOGY, San Diego Padres

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  • Zippy_TMS

    The bullpen makes a lot of sense for guys like Luebke, but I’d expect them to want to use a player coming off of an injury as more than a LOOGY. While they will want to limit usage, they still want them to get regular work in. Pitching a couple of innings after a warm-up is a good day’s work for a pitcher coming off rehab. Calling a guy in on short notice to get through a couple of batters requires a healthier arm. Luebke might see regular work on a consistent basis as a long middle reliever. I’d like to see them rotate some young arms up for spot starts, and Luebke could know that he’ll be in around the fifth inning to work through a few innings of his own.

    If the LOOGY comes from the minors, I’d expect to see someone like Patrick Schuster (Rule 5 pickup) or a waiver snag like Rich Hill. You want a guy who can warm up fast, throw hard, and get key guys out. You can’t expect someone still working off a Tommy John to be able to do that.

    • http://www.friarsonbase.com Jason Green

      Good point! Luebke probably isn’t a good LOOGY candidate. You mentioned limited usage in your comment and it made me wonder… is it best to use someone like Luebke, coming off of injury, as a reliever every few days or a starter every fifth day? He would obviously have a Strasburg like innings cap if he was starting but, perhaps more days to rest between starts is better than 2 or 3 between relief appearances.