Cory Robert Luebke
- Bats Right, Throws Left
- Height 6' 4", Weight 215 lb.
- School Ohio State University
- High School Marion Local High School
- Debut September 3, 2010
Cory Luebke was a supplemental first-round draft pick (63rd overall) by the San Diego Padres in the 2007 amateur draft. That selection marked the third time Cory was chosen in the draft after being taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 18th round in 2004 and by the Texas Rangers in the 22nd round in 2006.
Luebke struck out 301 batters during his high school career. As a senior, he fanned 119 and walked 11 in 50 innings, posting a .42 ERA. The Pittsburgh Pirates chose him in the 18th round of the 2004 amateur draft. He was 4-2 with a 3.55 ERA as a college freshman, then was 7-6 with a 3.38 ERA in 2006 as a sophomore. He was selected in the 22nd round of the 2006 amateur draft. With the Falmouth Commodores that summer, he went 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA. Cory blossomed as a junior, going 9-1 with a 2.07 ERA. He led the Big Ten Conference in ERA, innings (117 2/3) and strikeouts (98). He made the All-Conference team and was named the Pitcher of the Year. The San Diego Padres chose him 63rd overall in the 2007 amateur draft, a supplemental first-rounder; he was the first first-rounder from Ohio State since Nick Swisher. The pick was compensation for the loss of Alan Embree to free agency. He was signed by scout Jeff Stewart for $515,000.
Cory split 2007 between the Eugene Emeralds (3-0, 1.46), the Fort Wayne Wizards (1-2, 3.33) and the Lake Elsinore Storm (1-1, 7.71). He struck out 61 and walked 8 in 58 2/3 IP overall. In 2008, he pitched for Fort Wayne (3-3, 2.89) and Lake Elsinore (3-6, 6.84).
Luebke spent 2009 with Lake Elsinore (8-2, 2.34) and the San Antonio Missions (3-2, 3.70). He then joined Team USA for the 2009 Baseball World Cup. In his first outing, he shut down Team Canada, which would win the Bronze Medal, giving up no hits in the first 7 2/3 innings and fanning 10 before Chris Robinson singled. Geno Espineli closed out the win. In his second outing, he held the Australian national team to one run in six but a Pedro Alvarez error helped lead to two runs; the US would rally to win in the bottom of the 9th. His 0.66 ERA in the first two rounds led the US staff of Luebke, Brad Lincoln, Trevor Reckling, Kasey Kiker and Todd Redmond. Manager Eddie Rodriguez called on Cory against the Cuban national team in the Gold Medal game, facing veteran Norge Luis Vera. He gave up two runs but six hits in 4 1/3 innings, fanning seven, before Lincoln replaced him with a 4-2 lead; the US went on to win, 10-5, with Lincoln picking up the decision.
In 2010, the 25-year-old was 5-1 with a 2.40 ERA and WHIP under 1 for San Antonio and 5-0, 2.97 for the Portland Beavers for an excellent minor league campaign. That earned him a September call-up to a San Diego team which was battling to hold on to the division lead. Luebke did not help the cause in his first big league game. Starting against Aaron Cook and the Colorado Rockies, he served up a two-run homer to Jason Giambi in the 2nd and another two-run blast to Troy Tulowitzki in the third in a 4-3 defeat.
Cory started the 2012 season pitching well for the Padres. He was 3-1, 2.61, when he had to go on the disabled list on May 2nd. The injury turned out to be more serious than expected, and on May 21st, he underwent Tommy John surgery, performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles, CA. However, his was one of the rare cases when the graft of a new ligament in his elbow did not take, and he had to have a second surgery performed in February 2014, this time by Dr. James Andrews, as Dr. Yocum had passed away in the meantime. This time, the surgery worked, and in the spring of 2015, he was finally ready to begin a comeback.