Padres News: Could Cory Luebke Help the Padres Again?

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A few days ago I was reading a great article by Corey Brock of MLB.com, about how Cory Luebke feels healthy for the first time in almost 21 months. This got me thinking, could a thirty year old pitcher with two Tommy John surgeries under his belt ever help a club again? After some research, I believe the answer is yes.

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Two time Tommy John surgery pitchers are actually very common, which is something I didn’€™t realize. As of 2014 there were 44 pitchers (and three position players) that have gone under the knife more than once. You can find more on this information on mlbreports.com/tj-surgery.

Players that have made it back to the big leagues following their surgeries and had success include Shawn Kelley, Joakim Soria, Brian Wilson and Chris Capuano.

There are also many other players in Luebke’s shoes, trying to come back from their second Tommy John surgery in 2015. Players like Jarrod Parker, Kris Medlen, and Brandon Beachy are all trying to come back from their second surgeries.

So what can the Friars expect from Luebke when he tries to come back in 2015?

In an article in Baseball America, J.J. Cooper broke down what to expect from players coming back from their second Tommy John. First, expect a drop in velocity. Most players will throw about one mile an hour less on average than they were pre-surgery. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Some players, such as Chris Capuano, actually come back and throw harder than they did before their Tommy John. Cooper also notes that, other than the drop in velocity, players nowadays can come back with roughly the same stuff they had before their surgeries, even if it is their second.

All signs point to Luebke being able to come back at some point, and pitch fairly close to what he was doing before his surgeries. However, his biggest hurdle may be the length of time between starts at the big league level. It is hard to take a three year break from anything and come back at the top of your game.

Additionally, there doesn’€™t seem to be a clear spot for Luebke on the Padres roster right now. The starting rotation is set, and there aren’€™t very many open spots in the bullpen up for grabs either.

Time will tell whether or not Luebke will ever help the San Diego Padres again, but it is safe to say it will be a tough road to get there.

What do you guys think, will Luebke ever pitch for the Padres or even in the Big Leagues again? Lets discuss in the comments below.

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