Having two Tommy John Surgeries in two years was not the way Cory Luebke imagined these last two seasons. Not at all. Yet, reality must be faced, and as Corey Brock reports, the young left-hander is doing his best to take the surgeries in stride, and work hard towards recovery. After all, what else can you do?
“This is my job now.” he states as a matter-of-fact.
This week in Arizona, Luebke began shagging some fly balls in the outfield and working on some mechanical issues. Sadly, the TJ surgery continues to grow in popularity, and even having second TJ Surgeries is becoming more common. In Arizona, Cory could commiserate with the Diamondbacks Daniel Hudson, who also has gone under the knife twice now. He could also go to Atlanta where Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen are starting rehabilitation from their second Tommy John Surgeries.
What is not clear at this point is what is causing the rise in this surgery throughout all of baseball. Some suggest more specialization early on, some suggest the higher mound, but no one really knows at this point. TJ Jann, who not only pitches for Penn State, and has had two TJ procedures himself, and most recently of Yanks Go Yard, wrote an article about 3 weeks ago, with some personal insight into the procedure. It does seem like a player like Luebke would be a good case study in attempting to understand what causes and how to prevent future stress.
Luebke is specifically working on some mechanical adjustments with his hips to help ease the stress on his elbow down the road. What seems interesting is how Tim Lincecum of the Giants, with his own odd mechanics, has never really struggled with elbow issues himself. Surely it’s not a blanket issue, and a lot could simply be pitchers throwing harder more often. Also, as the surgery becomes more trusted – what once ended a career – can now easily prolong it. What could Tommy John Surgery have done for Sandy Koufax or a number of other pitchers whose career was cut short before this medical advancement?
Luebke hopes to return to the Padres in 2015, and Friars on Base will continue to keep you updated on Luebke’s progress.