Looks Like He Made It: Corey Kluber Passes Luis Tiant

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Sep 16, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the course of a season, many Indians players will reach important career milestones, or reach impressive season achievements.  In this segment, we’ll try to keep track of all of them, while including a few interesting facts and what to watch for next.

Player:  Corey Kluber

Contract Status:  Pre-arbitration-eligible.  Arbitration eligible in 2016, free agent eligible in 2019.

Achievement:  Last night, Kluber struck out 11 Rays, bringing his season strikeout total to 269.  In doing so, he passed Luis Tiant (264 in 1968) for sole possession of 6th place on the Indian’s All-Time Season Strikeouts list.

Details:  No Cleveland Indian has struck out as many batters as Kluber did this season since Sam MacDowell in 1970.  That was also the only other year an Indian has struck out that many batters since the mound was lowered.  Only Bob Feller (348 in 1946) and Sam MacDowell (four separate seasons) have struck out more batters in a season in Tribe history, and they needed at least 269 innings to do it.  Kluber only needed 235.

What to Watch For Next:  Kluber’s breakout 2014 has come to a close with 18 wins across 34 starts, but there are plenty of milestones to look for next year.  Currently, Kluber ranks 40th on the Tribe’s All-Time career strikeouts list with 464 K’s, good for first place among active Cleveland pitchers.  Next year, he’s within reach of Jake Westbrook (27th with 655) and even Herb Score (23rd with 742) if he has another very good season.  If he were to strikeout 250 batters per year in his remaining pre-arb and arbitration-eligible years, he would surpass Bob Lemon (1,277) for third place on that list.  First place on the list is Bob Feller at 2,581.

Did a Cleveland Indian reach a milestone that we forgot to celebrate?  Let us know!  We’re always on the lookout for more player achievements, so e-mail us at wahoosonfirst@gmail.com if you notice something we missed.

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