Padres News: Where Has Cory Luebke Been?

abeccarelli
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Can you remember the last time you saw Cory Luebke pitch for the San Diego Padres? It was for five games back in 2012. Three forgettable seasons ago.

Wednesday this week was one year since Luebke had his second Tommy John surgery. A surgery he had after sitting out the entire season before, recovering from his first Tommy John surgery. After two major surgeries like that, you would think a guy might begin to think that maybe this just isn’t for him, right?

Well, Cory reported to Peoria, Ariz. for Spring Training this week. Optimistic but realistic about what he expects out of himself there.

"“I’m not naive enough to think — I mean, it’s been three years almost (since Luebke’s first Tommy John surgery). There is a difference between getting healthy and competing.”"

At this point, Luebke is just playing catch (at 60 feet) and given his history, not even Bud Black knows when he’ll be ready to get on the mound again.

Luebke’s contract runs through the 2015 season and has a team option for the 2016 & 2017 seasons. I have to think the Padres are going to give Cory this year to start pitching off the mound. They’ve already put a lot of money into him and gotten almost nothing back, so what’s the harm in waiting until summer before deciding what to do with him? It might be a pretty special season, considering it looks like the Padres have an even better pitching lineup than they did back in 2012 when Luebke got hurt the first time.

It has been so long since I’ve seen Luebke pitch, but I remember liking what I saw and the Padres sure did too. After his one full, but impressive, season pitching for the Pads, they gave him a four-year, $12 million contract. Even put his name promotional Padres jerseys.

By the way, I think those promotional jersey’s are cursed. Think about every player who has ever had their name on one: Carlos Quentin, Jedd Gyorko, Cameron Maybin, Yonder Alonso, Andrew Cashner. Think about it, they all got hurt that season. But that’s a topic for another day…

It would be great for Luebke to get back on the mound and pitch again. Who doesn’t love a story like that? There was a lot of excitement about him that 2011 season. Padres fans were still pretty upset about no longer having an ace like Jake Peavy any more and Luebke looked like he might be the heir apparent for a time.

What do you guys think? Can Luebke get back and pitch again? Me? I’m like Luebke, I’m realistic.

Next: Brandon Morrow: Closer of the Future?

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