Is Cory Luebke For Real?

Jul 20, 2011


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Cory Luebke couldn’t have asked for a much better run in his four starts since joining the Padres’ rotation. He’s 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA, a 0.67 WHIP, and 26 strikeouts in 24 innings. Considering how well he pitched as a reliever, his success isn’t all that surprising.
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In 39  innings over 29 relief appearances Luebke was 1-2 with a 3.23 ERA, a 1.00 ERA, and 43 strikeouts.
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Luebke has been better this year as a starter. In a brief taste last year (three starts), Luebke allowed eight runs over 15-2/3 innings (4.60 ERA). He’s living up to the potential that made him the 63rd overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft following his 9-1, 2.07 ERA season for Ohio State.
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Luebke had his ups and downs in the minors before putting it all together last year. He went 5-1 with a 2.40 ERA for Double-A San Antonio to start the year. He was not intimidated by the jump to Triple-A as he went 5-0 with a 2.97 ERA for the Portland Beavers.
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What is surprising is his strikeouts per nine innings ratio. After striking out 7.54 K/9 in the minors, he has improved to 9.71 in his 80-2/3 big league innings.
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Luebke is likely to regress some in the  second half, simply because he set the bar so high in his four starts. His BABIP of .231 won’t likely hold. It’s been even better (.185) as a starter. That said, Luebke has been even better on the road (1-2, 1.82 ERA) that at home (2-1, 3.24 ERA) despite pitching in pitcher-friendly PETCO Park.
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If you are hurting at pitcher, Luebke has the goods to help your rotation. If he’s available in your league, why not give him a try?
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