Jeff Suppan has started three games for the San Diego Padres - the 2012 San Diego Padres - and that sort of thing doesn't happen unless other things have gone wrong. Other things have gone wrong, and among them is that Cory Luebke went on the disabled list with elbow discomfort. The great hope was that Luebke would be fine after a little time off. That is not the case, because the Padres aren't allowed to have anything go their way. Aside from Jeff Suppan's 1.69 ERA. Padres baseball! Back to Cory Luebke now.
Luebke was examined, and evidence pointed to ligament damage. Luebke was examined further, and:
#Padres Cory Luebke said exam showed partial tear of elbow ligament. Deciding between having surgery or pitching with it.— Sarah Trotto (@sarahtrotto) May 16, 2012
The UCL can have no tearing, partial tearing, and complete tearing. In the event of no tearing, a pitcher is healthy, or at least his UCL is healthy. In the event of complete tearing, a pitcher needs to undergo Tommy John surgery in order to get back on the mound. In the event of partial tearing, a pitcher can choose between surgical rehabilitation and non-surgical rehabilitation, but the latter often just leads to the former, so it is very possible, if not probable, that Luebke will go under the knife for ligament replacement. If he does that, he'll be out for the rest of 2012, and for the beginning of 2013.
Luebke owns a 110 career ERA+. Over 25 starts, he's posted a 3.30 ERA, with 149 strikeouts and 39 unintentional walks. In March, he signed a four-year contract with the Padres worth $12 million, with 2016 and 2017 options. Luebke is not a lucky man, on account of his injury, but he is a lucky man, on account of his injury timing, relative to his contract timing.
Jeff Suppan. Geez.