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 Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.