Found January 31, 2012 on Fantasy Baseball 365:
CKey Stats:Cory Luebke established himself as enough of a big league talent that San Diego was comfortable to trade away Mat Latos. Despite getting only 6 Wins on the year (he was in the bullpen until his first start on June 26th), he pitched better than his already good 3.29 ERA would lead you to beleive. He was able to build off of his cup of coffee in the majors in '10 by increasing his K% and decreasing his BB% leading to a 3.50 K/BB ratio, good enough for the 17th best ratio in the bigs (had he pitched the minimum amount of innings to qualify for the leader boards). Every single one of his modified ERA stats was lower than his actual ERA, and his FIP and SIERA even came in under 3.00.

Skeptics Say: PECOTA doesn't look upon Cory favorably projecting an 8-7 record to go along with a 4.43 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and a measly 86 K's. I'm not smart enough to understand how it works, but it's a very highly regarded projection system. RotoChamp however, has Luebke projected to closely match his numbers from last year, with an uptick in wins from 6 to 11. According to FanGraphs, his fastball not only gained half a mph but also increased it's value by about 6 times...a pretty significant jump. That, along with a moderate, but still impressive increase in the value of his slider don't convince me that he is going to have as bad a year as PECOTA thinks. One other cause for alarm? Opponents batted .206 off of him last season, while that's a great number, it seems tough to repeat given that 22% of the batted balls he gave up were line drives (for the record, the ground and fly balls were split identically at 38.8%)

Peer Comparison: The success that Luebke had starting had to have some sort of impact on the descision to trade Latos away. While Luebke won't be jumping into the number 1 spot in the rotation, it doesn't hurt to compare them and try to see what the Padres did. 

  Pitcher ERA FIP ERA-FIP K% BB% K:BB Luebke 3.29 2.93 .36 27.8 7.9 3.50 Latos 3.47 3.16 .31 23.2 7.8 2.98
I know there is more to measure than just what is laid out in the table above, but what really jumps out is the difference in strikeout percentage between these two pitchers. Latos is going into his 4th year in the majors, while Luebke is entering year three. Jeff Zimmerman developed some hitting aging curves, but also applied the same thought process to pitchers and strikeouts. Eno Sarris wrote about it here. Notice the data used refers to a debut, and not necessarily age. The basic idea is that most pitchers peak with their strikeout percentage in their debuts and then go downhill from there. With the higher K% starting out, it would seem Luebke is a safe bet to continue to get K's at a better rate than Latos. While you could go on the thought process that Latos also pitched better than his ERA indicates (which is true) you could argue that Luebke has more upside now. He had a better ERA FIP differential, a much higher K percentage and a comparable BB%. Factor in the home park for each pitcher now and it seems that Luebke could be the better pitcher going forward.

Team Outlook: The pitching staff is definitely the strength of this team. It's well known that their park is pitcher friendly, and given the make up of their offense, the Padres are going to need to keep the opposing offenses in check. Pitching on the road has always been a concern for Padres pitchers recently, but Luebke's splits from last season actually show he was better on the road than home.

What They're Saying: CBS Sportsline - #39 Starting Pitcher; Tristan Cockcroft of - #44 Starting Pitcher & #157 in the Top 250 Players; RotoChamp - #68 in the Top 300 Players; Mock Draft Central - #40 Starting Pitcher and #137 Overall

Projection: Wins will still be tough to come by, but there aren't any obvious reasons to think he is going to pitch worse than last season. 

11 W, 3.18 ERA, 170 K, 1.10 WHIP in 155 IP


Padres Agree to Minor League Deal with P Micah Owings

The San Diego Padres added a starting pitcher to big league camp by signing Micah Owings to a minor league deal. Owings holds a 32-31 career record with a 4.91 ERA in 5 seasons with the Reds and D-Backs. Last season, he was 8-0 with a 3.57 ERAwith the D-Backs, starting 4 games for them. He will definitely benefit from our huge ballpark if he makes it onto the big league roster. ...

Jason Bartlett, Or Not

The rumor mill keeps mentioning Sox interest in Bartlett, but all reports seem to refer to this Jayson Stark column (emphasis mine): If the Red Sox decide this spring they don’t like their shortstop options, one guy who’s still out there is Jason Bartlett. The Padres have been listening on Bartlett all winter. But the Red Sox would have the same reservations that have kept other...

Baseball IQ: Padres vs. Rockies

Welcome to the Friarhood chat for the Baseball IQ!  The Padres will feature Fred Gerson, Executive VP and CFO against Rockies Dir. of Retail Operations, Aaron Heinrich.  The event is January 31st at 6:30 pm PST on the MLB Network. "Baseball IQ features participants from front office personnel, equipment managers, scoreboard operators and museum curators. When possible, Baseball...

Daily Friar 2.1.12

Happy February to you all! There is a lot to look forward to this month when it comes to baseball. Pitchers and Catchers report very soon (18 days) which means spring training is about to start. Also on the 11th is FanFest, which will be a lot of fun for all the fans. I went last year and had a great time. I can only imagine that the crowd will be even bigger this year. Also as of...

Phillies Sign RHP Chad Qualls

The Phillies have yet again added to their offseason shopping list. This time, they’ve reeled in a right-handed relief pitcher by the name of Chad Qualls. The 33 year-old Qualls has 8 major league seasons under his belt. In those 8, he’s garnered a career 38-34 record and a 3.78 ERA. Qualls last pitched for the San Diego Padres, where he appeared 77 times. Although posting...

Padres RHP Moseley avoids arbitration, agrees to deal

San Diego Padres righthander Dustin Moseley avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth just over $2 million on Tuesday. Moseley, who will make $2,012,500, posted a 3-10 mark with a 3.30 ERA in 20 starts last season. The 30-year-old Moseley has secured a 15-21 career record with a 4.61 ERA in six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees and Padres.

Padres, righty Moseley settle on one-year for $2 million-plus

Right-hander Dustin Moseley has agreed to a one-year contract with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration. Moseley will make $2,012,500 this year, $12,500 below the midpoint of what he requested and the Padres offered. Moseley had asked for $2.55 million, San Diego offered $1.5 million.

Padres work to avoid arbitration with 11 players

Padres director of baseball operations Josh Stein and several other front-office personnel -- including general manager Josh Byrnes -- completed a momentous task on Tuesday, when they agreed to terms with pitcher Dustin Moseley, the last of their 11 players who were eligible for salary arbitration.

Padres, Moseley agree to one-year contract

The Padres and right-hander Dustin Moseley have agreed to a one-year contract to avoid arbitration, the club announced Tuesday. San Diego now has all arbitration-eligible players under contract for 2012.

Padres avoid arbitration with Moseley

The San Diego Padres have agreed to a one- year contract with pitcher Dustin Moseley, avoiding arbitration in the process.

Phillies Sign Reliever Qualls

Chad Qualls (AP)The Phillies have made what would seem like one final move to try and solidify the bullpen by signing veteran Chad Qualls.From the Phillies:Right-hander Chad Qualls signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Phillies, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.  The contract includes performance and awards bonuses.Qualls...

Phillies sign RHP Qualls to 1-year deal (AP)

Right-hander Chad Qualls has signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. The deal, announced on Tuesday, includes performance and awards bonuses. The 33-year-old Qualls went 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA in 77 games for San Diego last season. Since 2005, Qualls has made more appearances (512) than any other pitcher and ranks second in relief wins (34), trailing...

Qualls becomes latest to join Phils' rebuilt bullpen

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Right-hander Chad Qualls has signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.