Kluber to Skip All-Star Game, Tampa’s Snell to Replace Him on Roster

After another rocky start on Thursday night, Corey Kluber is prioritizing his health and being available for the Tribe through the second half of the season and on into October baseball.

On Friday afternoon, Major League Baseball announced that Kluber has decided to skip his participation in next week’s 89th All-Star Game from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. He has been replaced on the American League’s roster by Tampa Bay starting pitcher Blake Snell.

It was also revealed on Friday that Kluber received an injection in his right knee this morning. The knee issue may be having an effect on his mechanics, as his release point appears to have altered some and there have been clear changes in some of his outcomes. He has walked seven batters in his last six starts after walking ten through his first 14. Eight of his 19 homers allowed this season have also come over his last seven outings.

His results on the mound were again questioned after his start on Thursday against the New York Yankees. He was charged with six runs on eight hits in seven and one-third innings while giving up a pair of walks and two home runs. He survived some early damage to last deeper into the outing, but he threw his second-highest total of pitches on the year. The six runs that he was charged with equaled a season high, previously done four starts ago in an inning and two-thirds against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In skipping the All-Star Game, Kluber will get a little extra rest before opening up the second half of his campaign. He is scheduled to be the fourth starter out after the break, putting him on pace to pitch when the Indians return home for a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, July 23. It will give him ten full days off in between his starts.

Snell, a third-year big leaguer, has been the best pitcher on the Rays pitching staff this season. The 25-year-old left-hander has made 20 starts, posting a 12-5 record with a 2.27 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP with 134 strikeouts in 119 innings of work.

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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