Cory Luebke Settles On Tommy John Surgery

Cory Luebke is a wonderful starting pitcher when he's healthy, but he's not going to get back on a mound for a while, as he's getting ligament replacement surgery done on his elbow.

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Cory Luebke Undergoing Tommy John Surgery

This is a message from the very beginning of May:

Padres starter Cory Luebke had some discomfort in his elbow, but it wasn't a big deal. He'd just miss a start, and the Padres weren't going to bother with an expensive exam. Luebke would be back soon, no problem.

You've read the headline already. Luebke will not be back soon. Shortly after that tweet, Luebke was placed on the DL with elbow soreness. Shortly after that, there were whispers of Tommy John surgery. Shortly after that, it was discovered that Luebke had a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Luebke thought about rehab so as to avoid season-ending surgery, but attempted rehab doesn't guarantee that one will avoid season-ending surgery, so Luebke's settled on the season-ending surgery:

As such, Luebke is done for 2012, and he probably won't pitch for the Padres until at least May 2013. Had Luebke tried to rehab and failed, it would've pushed him back even longer, so he's getting things taken care of now. It's a bummer, but, as always, Tommy John surgery isn't so daunting these days. It's a serious procedure and the rehab's a bitch, but Luebke should make it back in time.

A note on the state of things for the Padres: Jeff Suppan has started four games. Anthony Bass is helping to make up for the loss of Luebke by turning in what might be a breakthrough season, but Jeff Suppan has started four games.

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Cory Luebke Thinking About Tommy John Surgery

Jeff Suppan has started three games for the San Diego Padres - the 2012 San Diego Padres - and that sort of thing doesn't happen unless other things have gone wrong. Other things have gone wrong, and among them is that Cory Luebke went on the disabled list with elbow discomfort. The great hope was that Luebke would be fine after a little time off. That is not the case, because the Padres aren't allowed to have anything go their way. Aside from Jeff Suppan's 1.69 ERA. Padres baseball! Back to Cory Luebke now.

Luebke was examined, and evidence pointed to ligament damage. Luebke was examined further, and:

The UCL can have no tearing, partial tearing, and complete tearing. In the event of no tearing, a pitcher is healthy, or at least his UCL is healthy. In the event of complete tearing, a pitcher needs to undergo Tommy John surgery in order to get back on the mound. In the event of partial tearing, a pitcher can choose between surgical rehabilitation and non-surgical rehabilitation, but the latter often just leads to the former, so it is very possible, if not probable, that Luebke will go under the knife for ligament replacement. If he does that, he'll be out for the rest of 2012, and for the beginning of 2013.

Luebke owns a 110 career ERA+. Over 25 starts, he's posted a 3.30 ERA, with 149 strikeouts and 39 unintentional walks. In March, he signed a four-year contract with the Padres worth $12 million, with 2016 and 2017 options. Luebke is not a lucky man, on account of his injury, but he is a lucky man, on account of his injury timing, relative to his contract timing.

Jeff Suppan. Geez.

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