Unfortunate news from Corey Brock at MLB.com:
SAN DIEGO — Padres left-hander Cory Luebke will miss his second consecutive season after it was determined that he’ll likely need a second reconstructive surgery on his left elbow.
Luebke, 28, had an MRI on Friday that showed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.
Luebke had his first Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on May 23, 2012 and apparently never fully recovered from that procedure. The southpaw looked like a budding star in 2011 when he registered an outstanding 3.29 ERA, 1.067 WHIP and 154 strikeouts across 139 2/3 innings as a rookie, but elbow issues have now completely derailed his career.
“I feel bad for him … from 2011 through the first part of 2012, he was certainly on his way,” Padres general manager Josh Byrnes told MLB.com on Tuesday. “This is a real setback. There’s been a lot of missed time. Hopefully in a year or so, he can get back to being Cory Luebke. This whole thing has been a mystery.”
The one big consolation for Luebke is that he signed a four-year, $12 million contract extension with the Friars in his first taste of salary arbitration. That deal pays him $3 million in 2014 and $5.25 million in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.