Cory Luebke eyes consistency on the hill

Cory Luebke rocketed through the system in his debut professional season, ending up in High-A Lake Elsinore where he helped push the Storm into the Championship series. His year ended in the Padres' fall Instructional League but the learning still continues.

When you look back on your season, do you view it as a success?

Cory Luebke: I guess I pitched the way I felt I could have. I kind of faltered a little bit in Lake Elsinore, whether it was a combination of me getting tired or me trying to do some things different as I moved up.

I was happy with it. I went to Instructs and felt better. You like to end the year on a good note.

It was a fun trip (to Lake Elsinore) and I got to meet a lot of guys and get my feet wet.

It has been a little bit of whirlwind ride for you. You start in Eugene, go to Fort Wayne, then Lake Elsinore for the playoffs.

Cory Luebke: It was fun. That group in Elsinore was a great group of guys that really meshed well. We had a great run at it. We stalled out in those last few games. It was frustrating but something you always have in the back of your mind to feed off of and know what it takes to get somewhere.

How tough was it for you to learn a new catcher and have them learn you? Is that a difficult process?

Cory Luebke: I wouldn't say it is difficult but it takes a little while. Anytime you get a new catcher you feel like you and the catcher just need to get to know each other and break each other in – getting used to sequences you like so both sides are comfortable.

They are all great players. It is not like you are breaking in a new high school or college catcher. They are all here for a reason. They know what they are doing. You have to talk a little bit and you might have to shake a little more.

You go out to Instructs – was there a specific goal you or the Padres had?

Cory Luebke: I think my mechanics needed to be cleaned up a little bit. That and me getting consistent with my changeup. It is a pitch that when it is on it is good. When it is not on I am not always throwing it over the zone.

It was nice. They not only help you out those five weeks but give you an idea of what you need to take into your three, four-month off-season so you know what to work on while you are gone.

You mentioned mechanics – what is it you were trying to improve upon?

Cory Luebke: I get out front a little bit and don't stay on top of my pitches when I get tired, especially in the later innings. In Eugene when I was going three or four innings at a pop before they let my pitch count get up I was doing a good job of staying on top of everything and keeping it down in the zone.

As I started to throw some more innings, I started to leave some balls up and wasn't locating as well. It is a matter of me fine-tuning my stride in order to keep everything down.

Does that also become a conscious thing for you where you start to think about it and all of a sudden are doing worse?

Cory Luebke: I think it might have in Elsinore a little bit. You go there and hear it is a hitter's league and think, ‘I really need to keep the ball down.' For a few starts I kind of changed some things – I wasn't pitching the way I did to get me to that point. It was a matter of me not getting relaxed out there and going after hitters.

They wouldn't have had me up there if they didn't think I could compete up there – you have to trust them and their decisions and put the rest in the back of your mind and go with it.

How do you move forward from here? Do you automatically say that Lake Elsinore is the lowest point you want to start next season?

Cory Luebke: Obviously you tell yourself that but these coaches here know what they are doing. We will see how it goes. I would obviously like to head back out to Elsinore but you have to continue to get better and let the rest fall into place.


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