Luebke projected to rejoin Padres after All-Star break
Two-thirds of runs allowed by Kennedy in '15 have come on homers
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
The left-hander has had two "Tommy John" elbow reconstruction surgeries since he last appeared in a Major League game on April 27, 2012.
On Tuesday night, Luebke's 30-day rehab assignment advanced from Double-A San Antonio to Triple-A El Paso, where he allowed a hit and a walk with a strikeout in an inning.
The 30-year-old Luebke started his rehab assignment on June 13 with high Single-A Lake Elsinore. That puts him on schedule to end his rehab assignment on July 12, which is the last day of the first half of the Major League season.
That means the Padres have to make a decision on re-activating Luebke and adding him to the Major League roster by the time the second half starts on July 17. Luebke is out of options, meaning the Padres have only two options when Luebke completes his assignment - activate him or designate him for assignment.
The only other option would be if Luebke were injured during the final two weeks of his rehab assignment, forcing him to return to inactive status and starting the rehab process over.
Luebke has made all seven of his one-inning rehab assignments out of the bullpen. He started pitching one inning every third day, now he is pitching an inning every other day. He made three appearances with Lake Elsinore and two with San Antonio before making his debut with El Paso Tuesday night.
Thus far, Luebke has allowed three runs on three hits and four walks with four strikeouts in seven innings.
The plan has been for Luebke to become the long man in the Padres bullpen when he returns. He will not start this season.
When he was injured in 2012, Luebke the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Luebke was emerging as the Padres top pitcher. He was 3-1 with a 2.61 earned run average in his first five starts in 2012. He had allowed 28 hits and eight walks with 23 strikeouts in 31 innings.
Luebke, the 63rd overall pick of the 2007 draft out of Ohio State, made his Major League debut with the Padres in 2012 at the age of 25. He had a 10-12 career record with a 3.25 ERA in 55 games (25 starts). As a starter, Luebke was 9-10 with a 3.30 ERA in 25 games.
From the scorecard
-- Right-handed starter Ian Kennedy has allowed exactly one earned run in each of his last four starts, although he has given up 12 runs. A scoring change Tuesday night that changed a single to an error for second baseman Jedd Gyorko made three of the four runs allowed by Kennedy unearned. In his previous start, five of the six runs allowed by Kennedy were unearned. Over the last four games, Kennedy has allowed 12 runs (but only four earned) on 17 hits and seven walks in 24 innings - an earned run average of 1.50. By the way, the Padres have been shutout in Kennedy's last two starts and have scored a total of five runs in his last four starts.
-- Kennedy had another dubious distinction Tuesday night. He allowed two homers. He has given up 17 in 74 innings (or 2.1 per nine innings) to move past James Shields for the team lead. Thirty-two of the 48 runs - 67 percent -- allowed by Kennedy this season have come on home runs. Kennedy now ranks third in the National League in home runs allowed. Shields is tied for fourth. Andrew Cashner has allowed 13 home runs and Odrisamer Despaigne 11.
-- Infielder Yangervis Solarte's seventh-inning double was the Padres' lone hit Tuesday night. He is 6-for-13 over his last four games with three doubles following a 7-for-49 (.143 slump) that had dropped his average from .262 to .235.
-- Right fielder Matt Kemp was 0-for-4 Tuesday to snap his four-game hitting streak. He is now 7-for-24 while hitting in the lead-off slot.