Kluber to miss All-Star Game after knee injection

The righty dropped his first in 74 games with 4 runs of support Thursday

Alex Hooper
July 13, 2018 - 3:28 pm
Jul 12, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) delivers in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Progressive Field.

© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Indians ace right-hander Corey Kluber will not pitch in the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game after receiving an injection in his right knee. Tampa Bay Rays lefty Blake Snell will replace him.

Through his last six starts, the ace had been very un-Klubes, allowing 19 earned over 34 innings (5.03 ERA) with a .242/.279/.461 slash line against. While it was safe to assume the righty was possibly dealing with some sort of knock, it was also safe to assume that the defending Cy Young winner with a 2.76 ERA was simply regressing towards the mean.

It could be both, but we now know the latter was at least influencing the former.

Both Kluber and Manager Terry Francona admitted that the pitcher’s arm slot was dropping as a result of sinking onto the ailing right knee while driving off of the mound. The player could not pinpoint when the knee started bothering him, but data shows the release point hit a season-low around mid-June.

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“I think if we looked at the data, there are some things that have changed. I don’t want to try to use it as an excuse or anything, but no, I think if anything it made it a little bit harder to constantly repeat the delivery the way that I would want to,” Kluber said.

“My arm action has been the same, it’s just the release point is lower, which kind of goes hand in hand with what you were saying. Not quite staying strong on the backside and kind of collapsing on it, which makes it harder to drive the ball downhill.”

The 32-year-old will remain down from throwing for the next seven days, and will start the fourth game of the second half against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Cleveland.

Kluber will not go to this disabled list, despite the fact that his next start would come in exactly 10 days and he would be eligible to do so, while also creating a roster spot for the Indians.

“We always try to do the right thing,” Francona said. “This isn’t a DL. We didn’t even have to really tell you guys he was getting a shot. After talking to him, I didn’t want him to go to the All-Star game and get ‘ok, why are you not pitching?’ I just thought being honest was the best way to go about it. There’s a lot of times these things happen and nobody knows. As far as him pitching, he should be pitching. And there’s no reason to not pitch him.”