After only seven starts this year, Corey Kluber got drilled by a line drive and broke his pitching arm. He was 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA and 38 strikeouts. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball for many years, but this year hasn’t been brilliant by any means.
The standard thinking is…when he returns, it’d be as a starter. He just threw a bullpen session and it went well.
But that’s just it…bullpen.
Here’s an idea that some Tribe faithful have proposed. Make Corey Kluber come out of the bullpen when he returns as the setup man. Leave Brad Hand as the closer and simply adjust the rest of the pen accordingly.
I see Kluber having the ability to throw two innings and even more than that if needed.
Thus, the starter goes six, Kluber throws a perfect 7th and 8th, then Hand closes it out. Tribe wins and everyone is happy.
Kluber is 33, coming back from an injury and this might be the perfect compromise. He doesn’t have to stay in the pen forever, say there’s another injury (God Forbid) to a starter or he is needed to make a start himself for any reason. The same can be said about future years.
I simply see this as the Tribe taking advantage of the staff they have and making Kluber a guy that can come back and help the team win, just in a different spot.
As a professional, he should be able to handle it.
Think about it.