UPDATE: It’s official. Luebke announced that he’ll go under the knife later this week and miss the remainder of the season.
Yesterday the Padres shifted Cory Luebke from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list and manager Bud Black told Sarah Trotto of MLB.com that the left-hander is “strongly leaning” toward undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery.
Luebke has been out since April 27 with an elbow injury and apparently some thought has been given to attempting to pitch through the partial ligament tear, but every indication is that he’ll go under the knife at some point later this week.
It’s a tough break for the Padres, as Luebke had emerged as a long-term building block despite not debuting in the majors until age 25, throwing 188 innings with a 3.25 ERA and 195/58 K/BB ratio. Even worse, the season-ending injury and 12-month recovery timetable come right after Luebke and the Padres agreed to a contract extension worth $12 million in guaranteed money and as much as $27 million through 2017.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has been suspended one game for his role in Saturday’s altercation with the Tigers, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Sano will appeal his suspension, so he’ll be eligible to play until that is resolved.
On Saturday, Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by Twins pitcher Justin Haley. The Tigers’ Matt Boyd threw behind Sano when he came to the plate in the fifth inning, seemingly exacting revenge. Sano took exception, catcher James McCann pushed his glove into Sano’s face, and the benches emptied. Both Boyd and Sano were ejected from the game.
Sano has hit well in the early going, batting .241/.413/.569 with four home runs and 14 RBI with an MLB-best 17 walks in 75 plate appearances. Losing Sano for only one game won’t be the biggest deal for the Twins. Eduardo Escobar would get the start at third base to fill in for Sano if he loses his appeal.
Boyd was fined an undisclosed amount and not suspended, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday. Barnes was exacting revenge for Machado’s slide which injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Friday, and was ejected immediately after throwing the pitch at Machado.
Barnes is appealing his suspension, so he will be able to participate in games until the issue is resolved. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.60 ERA and an 11/6 K/BB ratio in 10 innings so far this season.
The suspension is rather light considering Barnes’ intent. Barnes missed, thankfully, as he hit Machado’s bat rather than his helmet. Had he hit his intended target, though, baseball might’ve been out one superstar third baseman. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote today that Major League Baseball needs to beef up its punishment for players attempting to injure other players. And he’s totally right about that. The punishment is neither enough to deter players from attempting to injure their peers, nor is it enough for teams to deter their own players from doing so.