Cory Luebke, the big 6’4” lefty, had a nice rookie campaign in 2011 with 154K’s, 44BB, and a 3.29 ERA in 139.2 Innings Pitched. That’s a 3.5K/BB, which is what you look for out of your #1 starter. While pitching in the friendly confines of PETCO Park certainly is a bonus, Luebke actually performed better on the road pitching to the tune of an 2.55 ERA (in 70.2 IP), compared to his home ERA of 4.04 (69 IP). Despite his move from the bullpen to the rotation, his K’s/9 actually stayed the same a 9.92K/9 (100.2 IP as starter, 39 IP out of pen) which again is something that you look for out of your #1 starter. They only drawback I see to Luebke’s game is his pitch repertoire. He relies heavily on a Fastball/Slider combination (FB 67.2%, SL 23.3%) and hitters in 2012 might be able to pick up on him better after seeing him a few times in the rotation; all though, it is worth noting that both his fastball and his slider rate out as plus pitches (FB 20.6, SL 7.0 runs above average). So, in Corey Luebke we have all the makings of a future frontline starter. He has the strike out numbers, he keeps his walks down (2.84BB/9IP in 2011), and it doesn’t hurt that he calls his home PETCO. Luebke still could stand to improve that GB% (38.8% in 2011), but maybe that will come in 2012 as he tries to develop another pitch to add to his arsenal ( he threw his change-up 6.4% in 2011) . In 2012, I see Cory Luebke as a very suitable #2 starter for fantasy owners and a great #3 option. I predict 13W-11L, 180 IP, 183K’s and 3.19 ERA in 2012.
Aaron Price, follow me on twitter @baseballrantman