Luebke eyeing increased use of changeup

Luebke eyeing increased use of changeup

PEORIA, Ariz. -- There was a lot to like from the Padres' perspective on Cory Luebke's first full season in the Major Leagues, as the left-hander went 6-10 with a 3.29 ERA in 139 2/3 innings.

The Padres would like to see him continue to develop into a frontline starter and think that getting Luebke to throw his changeup more will help him achieve that.

According to FanGraphs, Luebke used his changeup only 6.8 percent of the time in 2011, well behind the use of his fastball (64.3 percent) and slider (25.8).

"I think the changeup is going to be critical for Cory as it is for a lot of pitchers. I think he knows that with the fastball and slider that the change a lot of times is a separator from guys who end up having successful, long careers," manager Bud Black said.

Luebke, who after moving into the rotation midway through the season often ran into some high pitch counts, said that he would like nothing more than to be more efficient in 2012.

"I think that it's something that I'll use more of this year," he said. "I rang up some pitch counts that got pretty high in the early innings and I want to be out there more to eat up some more innings. Maybe I can use [the changeup] to get a quick out here or there and save some pitches."