Padres Prospect Interview: Cory Luebke

From Ohio State to Eugene to Fort Wayne and now to Lake Elsinore. Cory Luebke has experienced quite a ride since being drafted by the San Diego Padres.

Talk to me about the piggyback situation you experienced during your time in Eugene.

Cory Luebke: I enjoyed it. It got us out on the mound more and out there every four days. I liked that aspect of it and it kept out pitch counts down. It is not like we are dealing with college coaches anymore.

One of the things you had mentioned was Ohio State ran you pretty deep into games down the stretch.

Cory Luebke: I was pushing 130 innings in Eugene and to tell you the truth I feel better than I have all season. I am happy with that. After the last time I threw I didn't feel any soreness. I am used to starting a game and two days later still getting treatment. My stuff is a little better each time out because the mechanics aren't breaking down when you are going 120 pitches. I have enjoyed it.

How different was the relief role and coming out of the pen?

Cory Luebke: My first two times coming out were out of the pen. It is different. Last time would have been my first game as a freshman – our first game of the season when I came out of the pen. I got into the rotation after that. It had been about three years but I enjoyed it. Anytime you get on the mound is a good time.

What have you found from the coaching staffs? What minor tweaks are you making?

Cory Luebke: I know there are some things for me to work on. I need to control the sink on my fastball a little better. Every once in a while I fall behind in the count and I want to go to my four-seam because I know where I can put it. And it is just them trying to pound into my head to make sure I use my two-seam and get it over the plate. The same thing with my changeup; I have been a little too picky on the outside corner – making me throw strikes and keeping my pitch count down and pitch more to contact rather than put anyone away.

How tough is it on the mound to listen to those words when you know you have hit those corner spots in the past and want to be as fine as possible so you don't hit ‘too much' of the plate?

Cory Luebke: The hitters are obviously better here. In college, your 1-2 and 2-2 counts you can think, ‘All right, I am going to make a perfect pitch here' and put that guy away. I have to get out of that mode and try to pitch to the bat and get ground balls, keep the pitch count down and eat up innings.

How do you prepare for full-season ball now that you have experienced its equivalent but won't have school commitments eating up your time? Do you feel like you are ahead of the game?

Cory Luebke: Going into the off-season – before I leave I will sit down with the coaches here...I have an idea of what I need to work on and get a good idea from them what I need to pound in the off-season. Go with it and build the body back up, put some weight back on, and get ready for the next grind.

What can you tell us about Mitch Canham – in Lake Elsinore now with you?

Cory Luebke: Mitch was my catcher in the Cape last summer so me and Mitch have throw together a little bit. It was neat to see both of us got picked up here.

And what has the experience been like for you overall in pro ball?

Cory Luebke: Going up a whole class of athletes has been neat. My last two years of college I was always one of the older guys on the staff but here you have some guys who are at your level and know more about the game. You can ask guys for advice and help each other.

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