Soup’s on in San Diego.
The Padres announced Tuesday that Cory Luebke would miss his start Wednesday with elbow tightness and that Jeff Suppan would be called up to pitch in his place against the Brewers.
Suppan, 37, was picked even though he had allowed nine runs and 17 hits in his 6 2/3 innings for Triple-A Tucson this season. The veteran right-hander last pitched in the majors with the Cardinals in 2010. He was 3-8 with a 5.06 ERA overall that season, but after Milwaukee released him, he was 3-6 with a 3.84 ERA for St. Louis.
Luebke’s loss would be huge for the Padres if it extends beyond a start or two. The 27-year-old is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA in five starts this season. Overall, he has a 3.30 ERA in 25 career starts, and he’s no Petco creation either, not with his 2.75 ERA in 88 1/3 innings on the road.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.