Luebke projectedto rejoin Padresafter All-Star break


Staff report

According to the San Diego Padres website, Marion Local High School graduate Cory Luebke is projected to rejoin the team after the All-Star break.

The left-handed pitcher has had two “Tommy John” elbow reconstruction surgeries since he last appeared in a Major League game on April 27 of 2012.

On Tuesday night, Luebke’s 30-day rehab assignment advanced from AA San Antonia to AAA El Paso, where he allowed a hit, a walk and had a strikeout in one inning.

Luebke, 30, started he rehab assignment on June 13 with high Class A Lake Elsinore. That puts him on schedule to end his rehab assignment on July 12, which is the last day of the first half of the Major League season.

According to the website, that means the Padres have to make a decision on re-activating Luebke and adding him to the Major League roster by the time the second half starts on July 17. Luebke is out of options, meaning the Padres have only two options when Luebke completes his assignment — activate him or designate him for assignment.

The only other option would be if Luebke were injured during the final two weeks of his rehab assignment, forcing him to return to inactive status and starting the rehab process over.

Luebke has made all seven of his one-inning rehab assignments out of the bullpen. He started pitching one inning every third day, now he is pitching an inning every other day. He made three appearances with Lake Elsinore and two with San Antonio before making his debut with El Paso Tuesday night.

Thus far, Luebke has allowed three runs on three hits and four walks with four strikeouts in seven innings.

The plan has been for Luebke to become the long man in the Padres bullpen when he returns. He will not start this season.

When he was injured in 2012, Luebke the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Luebke was emerging as the Padres top pitcher. He was 3-1 with a 2.61 earned run average in his first five starts in 2012. He had allowed 28 hits and eight walks with 23 strikeouts in 31 innings.

Luebke, the 63rd overall pick of the 2007 draft out of Ohio State, made his Major League debut with the Padres in 2012 at the age of 25. He had a 10-12 career record with a 3.25 ERA in 55 games (25 starts). As a starter, Luebke was 9-10 with a 3.30 ERA in 25 games.