Free Luebke Job

Cory is so overlooked even cameras focus on background images when snapping pics
Photo Credit: mwlguide

Aaron Harang out, Cory Luebke in. Harangutan is hanging out on the Disabled List with what was originally deemed a sore foot, but what is now diagnosed as a stress fracture to the third metatarsal in his right foot. I have no clue what that means, but I’m sure Don would be happy to explain (we’ll update). In the meantime the 2% owned Cory Luebke will start Sunday’s game at home against Atlanta and stay in the rotation until Harang is ready to return. Luebke has been lights out while serving time in the bullpen, but will that continue as he transitions back to starting?

More Luebke after the jump.

As a reliever Cory has thrown less Two-seam Fastballs and Change-ups in favor of his Slider. The Slider is showing more horizontal movement and sinking action. The Whiff% has responded well (11.9% in ’10, 19.5% in ’11). Even though it doesn’t show in his walk rate, Luebke is locating all of his pitches better. All four pitches are hitting the strike zone more often and his First Strike percentage is up two points. The velocity is up a bit on his two Fastballs, but that should be expected. The improved Slider and control has helped increase Cory’s strikeout potential. He’s a different Pitcher, it’ll be interesting to see how he readjusts.

From the pen: 39 IP, 43 K, 1.00 WHIP, 3.23 ERA, 9.92 K/9, 3.46 BB/9

Aside from those numbers Cory is also keeping hitters off balance. This shows in his stellar 14.9% LD% and 3.1% HR/FB%. He’s a Ground Ball-heavy Pitcher (1.31 GB/FB) so that combined with his very low HR/FB% makes it very difficult for batters to go yard off Cory. He’s allowed only one Home Run this season (Drew Stubbs at Petco).

Since the Stubbs HR: 32.7 IP, 35 K, 0.89 WHIP, 1.65 ERA, 9.64 K/9, 3.03 BB/9

Lubeke’s minor league track record doesn’t support the 9+ Strikeouts per nine. As he makes his way through the lineup a second time, takes the velocity down a notch to conserve energy and spreads out his pitch usage, I would expect his Strikeout rate to revert back to something closer to what he was showing in the minors (high six, low seven Strikeouts per nine). He’d be considered an average Pitcher in terms of Strikeouts and Walks if this does come to fruition. However, as long as he keep hitters off balance and enjoys his time at Petco he’ll be better than your average MLB Pitcher. If he is able to maintain the high number of strikeouts, well then you have yourself a damn good Pitcher. This is really a no-lose situation.

The Braves rank 21st in Team Runs scored, 22nd in Team OPS and have scored more than five Runs only seven times since May 5th. Plus they have Dan Uggla. This looks like a nice play for us. Luebke is owned in only 2% of Y! leagues. I made the move, Cory joined my Blog Wars team. You’re going to get a Free Luebke Job whether or not he succeeds. The word play works both ways, win-win for me and very likely a win for you.