Kluber continues his recovery, as Bauer trade rumors continue to swirl

The Indians' rotation could change over the next few weeks

James Rapien
July 18, 2019 - 5:05 pm

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Corey Kluber’s quest to return to the mound continued on Wednesday, as the 33-year-old threw his first bullpen session since breaking his forearm on May 1.

He’s been going through extensive workouts and training in hopes of helping the Indians this season. The ulna bone in his right forearm is healed, but he needs to build up his arm strength before pitching in games. Kluber threw 20 fastballs in Wednesday’s session.

“He’s got a work day today [Thursday],” manager Terry Francona said. “Tomorrow is a long-toss day and the plan was for him to kind of spin some breaking balls on flat ground when he’s done.

“We’re still at the point where we’re starting to build him up or let him go through the side days, but also building up his arm strength.”

The two-time Cy Young Award winner will play catch and go through a workout on Saturday. He could throw more than 20 pitches in Sunday’s session as he continues to build up strength in his right arm.

The Indians’ rotation has held its own without Kluber, but adding an arm as accomplished and experienced as him would be huge for a team battling for a fourth straight American League Central Division Championship.

Trevor Bauer not worried about deadline

Trade rumors involving Indians starter Trevor Bauer continue to swirl ahead of the July 31st deadline. The right-hander could be on the move over the next few weeks, but he’s not worried about the rumors according to his manager, who complimented him multiple times on Thursday.

“He likes to pitch. I hope he likes to pitch here,” Francona said. “We know how good he is. We’ve gone through about seven years now with him. We’ve got to know him pretty good and the one thing you know is on the day he pitches, you’re gonna get a guy that goes out there and is not gonna back down, is gonna compete and there’s a pretty good chance the last pitch he throws that night is gonna be the best pitch of his night. There’s a lot to like about the way he pitches.”

Indians President Chris Antonetti addressed the team ahead of the deadline and talked with Bauer too. It's no secret that the team will entertain offers for the right-hander and other players on the roster over the next few weeks. 

Bauer, 28, has one year of arbitration left on his deal before free agency. He’s made in known that he doesn’t plan on signing a long-term contract with any team. He would rather maximize his value by signing one-year deals. The Indians will listen to offers over the next few weeks and are expected to trade him this winter if they keep him past July 31.

Bauer enters Thursday’s start against Detroit with an 8-7 record and a 3.65 ERA. He’s tied for fourth in Major League Baseball with 160 strikeouts and has thrown the most innings (138) in baseball this season.