Kluber Lands on Disabled List With Lower Back Strain
Bob Toth | On 03, May 2017
Concerns about Corey Kluber‘s three-inning effort on Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers were confirmed on Wednesday as the Cleveland Indians announced that the right-handed pitcher had been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Joseph Colon has been recalled from Triple-A Columbus.
If things go according to plan, Kluber would only miss one start and could rejoin the roster on May 13 in time for the Indians afternoon matchup with the Minnesota Twins. Heading into game three of a three-city, ten-game road trip that will take the Indians through Kansas City and Toronto after the four-game set in Detroit is completed, Kluber would not have been scheduled to start again until Sunday afternoon against the Royals. With an off day on Thursday at the end of the lengthy trip, Kluber’s following start would not be until the following Saturday, potentially letting him miss just one appearance.
Kluber’s three-inning outing against the Tigers on Tuesday was his shorting appearance since May 9 of last season, when he lasted just two and two-thirds innings to Houston after allowing a similar five runs allowed in a loss. He shared after his abbreviated start Tuesday that the back issue had been an ongoing thing that he was trying to work through, but that he had trouble getting stretched out and comfortable.
His start against Detroit was clearly much more affected by his back than his previous outings. Despite dealing with it for the last few starts per his reports, he had worked no fewer than six innings his first five times out. He allowed three runs in seven innings against Houston last Thursday and threw a complete game three-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox the previous Friday.
This is the second trip to the disabled list in the seven-year Major League career of the former Cy Young winner. He was on the 15-day disabled list for a month of the 2013 season with a right middle finger sprain.
There is a good chance that the Indians will call upon Columbus right-hander Mike Clevinger on Sunday to make the start against the Royals. He pitched Tuesday night for the Triple-A Clippers and would be able to pitch on normal rest. He earned his third win of the season behind a quality start, allowing a run on seven hits over six innings, his fourth quality effort in six tries this season.
Colon will join a bullpen that threw five no-hit shutout innings against the Tigers on Tuesday. The 27-year-old was off to a good start at Triple-A and had made eight consecutive scoreless appearances since allowing a run in his season debut on April 6. He had yet to factor in a decision with a 0.87 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, and three saves in four chances with nine hits and three walks allowed over ten and one-third innings. He had struck out eight batters and held opposing hitters to a .237 batting average against.
The righty split last season between Cleveland and Columbus after serving a 50-game suspension. He was 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP in eleven games with the Indians in 2016.
Photo: David Banks/Getty Images