The San Diego Padres have an ace-in-the-making with 27-year-old Cory Luebke. Unfortunately, they will have to wait one more year before he takes the next big step in his career.
Luebke was originally supposed to miss only one start, then was placed on the DL on May 2 in hopes of giving his arm a chance to rest.
After meeting with team doctors, it was apparent that there was cause for concern and there might be ligament damage. A second MRI on May 16 confirmed the partial tear in the ligament, and Luebke has been weighing his options ever since.
Dan Hayes broke the news on Monday that Luebke would indeed undergo Tommy John surgery:
Cory Luebke to have reconstructive elbow surgery on Wednesday. #Padres
— Dan Hayes (@NCTPadres) May 21, 2012
It is a big blow to the Padres and to Luebke, as the pitcher was primed to have a big year in 2012.
In five starts this season, Luebke was 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA and a 23:8 strikeout to walk ratio.
Last season he had fantastic numbers—despite a 6-10 losing record. He had a 3.29 ERA and struck out 154 batters in only 139.2 innings.
Luebke made the right choice in having the surgery, as opposed to trying to pitch through it this season. The Padres are already 10 games under .500 and will be able to look forward to Luebke next season when he is healed and ready to pitch again.
He is expected to be out for the first few months of the 2013 season as he continues his recovery.