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."
Reyes gets taste of coaching with HS hoops
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Minor League pitcher Jorge Reyes, in his first Major League camp this spring, found a way to combat boredom this winter -- by coaching high school basketball.
"The last few years, I was home with really nothing to do but work out," said Reyes, a 17th-round pick in 2009 out of Oregon State.
So Reyes, who grew up in and spends his offseason home in Warden, Wash., got in contact with his old high school coach and got a gig coaching the "C" team at Warden High while also assisting the varsity team. He sat on the bench for the varsity games while running the conditioning program.
"It was different because you're seeing things from a different perspective," Reyes said of coaching.
Reyes, who is 19-8 with a 3.72 ERA in his first 54 professional games, said that his "C" team started the year 0-4 but finished strong, winning six of its final eight games. The season ended just before Reyes left for Spring Training.
How good a high school player was Reyes?
"Not a very good one," he said, smiling. "I would basically try to run up and down the court as fast as I could."
Reyes went 10-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 33 appearances last season with Double-A San Antonio and could end up starting the season with Triple-A Tucson.
Tekotte relished time in big leagues
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The 2011 season was something of a whirlwind for outfielder Blake Tekotte, who began the season with Double-A San Antonio and played 19 games in the big leagues with the Padres before heading back to San Antonio to help the Missions win the Texas League title.
"It was really fun. It was a special group of guys there. I don't know what it is," Tekotte said. "We just kept winning. We had good camaraderie and kept on winning. If someone wasn't hitting, it was like someone stepped up and had a huge game."
Many times, it was Tekotte, who finished the 2011 season with 19 home runs, 67 RBIs, 36 steals and a .393 on-base percentage in 106 games that were sandwiched around his Major League debut in May and then later a stint in August.
"It was definitely an awesome experience," Tekotte said of his time with the Padres, when he hit .176 in 34 at-bats, many as a pinch-hitter. "I learned that you've always got to be ready to adjust to something. I had a tough time coming off the bench. I wasn't used to it. I felt like I learned a lot from that."
Tekotte, 24, got his first two Major League hits on the road against Washington on May 28, including a double and a triple. On Aug. 2, he had a three-hit game against the Dodgers with two stolen bases.
"It's an all-around game," Padres manager Bud Black said of Tekotte. "That's the thing that he brings. He's hit for a little power in the Minor Leagues. He can steal a bag, he's a solid defender, good arm, knows how to play the game. He goes about it the right way.
"He seems to be a pretty dependable player who shows offense and defense."
Around the horn
The Padres announced their 2012 game events schedule Thursday, which includes Friday night festivities, Saturday fan giveaways and Military Appreciation Sundays. There will be six fireworks shows and three retro nights ('70s, '80s and '90s). Fans will also have the opportunity to choose which uniforms the team wears on those retro nights. Online fan voting at www.padres.com/retro will begin Monday.