Kluber forced to miss All-Star Game
CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber’s stellar first half ended with a sudden stop.
The Indians ace received an injection in his right knee Friday, one day after he gave up two runs in the eighth inning and was beaten by the Yankees.
Kluber will miss the All-Star Game, but the team is hoping the injection will allow the two-time Cy Young Award winner to continue leading their rotation after the break — and beyond.
The American League Central-leading Indians said Kluber will need at least one week to recover and is not expected to make his next start until July 23 against the Pirates. He has been replaced on the AL All-Star roster by the Rays’ Blake Snell.
While Kluber’s knee issue doesn’t appear to be serious, the Indians don’t want to take any chances. He said the knee has been bothering him for a “few weeks.”
“I don’t want to use it as an excuse, but it made it a little harder to consistently repeat my delivery the way that I want to,” said Kluber, who has given up 19 runs over his last 34 innings.
“My arm action has been the same, but the release point’s been lower.”
Manager Terry Francona wants Kluber to be as close to 100 percent as possible for the remainder of the season.
“We’ve had this in the works for a while,” Francona said. “We’ll bring him back fourth (in the rotation) coming out of the break so he can have a little bit (more) of a break because he’s going to shoulder a huge load.”
Said Kluber: “That’s why we decided to do it now. I would have liked to have pitched in the All-Star Game, but (looking at) the big picture, being healthy for the second half (of the season) was more important.”