The Cleveland Indians have been without Corey Kluber for much of the 2019 season and his return may take a bit longer after his most recent rehab outing.
Cut ahead to today and it is fair to say that the starting rotation is just fine without him. At least at this point in time. If it wasn’t, the team likely would have held on to Trevor Bauer.
Kluber’s eventual return seemed to be close as he made another rehab appearance on Sunday. That didn’t go so well.
Kluber threw 20 pitches and was removed on a day when he was supposed to go several innings. That is not great, but the fact it is abdominal tightness is better than a tear or anything to do with his previously broken arm.
There isn’t much else that can be said about this until more information is learned. The best-case scenario is that he just needs to build up his strength again. The worst-case is obviously another injury that holds him out even longer.
It is an odd year where the Indians have had success without Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, and now Trevor Bauer. Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale, and Adam Plutko have stepped up while Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber have filled in at the top of the rotation.
We will wait for updates on Kluber. Even if he is cleared to pitch again he still has to build his strength and velocity back up for him to be relied upon in October.
All will be well as long as he doesn’t enter the Salazar zone where he is never fully cleared to return.