Last season, as the Red Sox sputtered to a last-place finish in the American League East, they allowed the second-most runs in all of baseball.
Their lack of consistent starting pitching was a main reason why, as they shuffled through many options and relied heavily on inexperienced players. Boston’s rotation ranked 29th in the majors in innings pitched (246).
This season, with manager Alex Cora and starter Eduardo Rodriguez back, the Red Sox are hoping to improve upon that troubling trend from a season ago. They’ve already brought in Matt Andriese, added Garrett Whitlock through the Rule 5 Draft, and signed Daniel Gossett to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training camp.
It’s no secret, however, that they’re still hoping to make a major splash, and one name to keep an eye on is Corey Kluber. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Monday that the two-time Cy Young Award winner will throw for several MLB teams, including the Red Sox, in Florida on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 4, 2021
Kluber, who will be 35 in April, finished 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA in 2014 and 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA in 2017 in his two Cy Young seasons with the Cleveland Indians. He racked up a career-high 20 wins in 2018, but he made just seven appearances in 2019 and pitched one inning with the Texas Rangers in 2020.
He suffered a Grade 2 teres major (right shoulder) strain during his first start last year and didn’t return. The Rangers declined his $18 million option, which made him a free agent.
Corey Kluber, 2018 Highlights. 😳 pic.twitter.com/n2omLRK9sw
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) January 15, 2019
Peter Gammons of The Athletic called him “one of the most interesting figures for a Yankee-Red Sox scrum.” Gammons reported that Kluber has been throwing at trainer Eric Cressey’s facilities in Hudson, Massachusetts, among other places.
“Those watching him feel he will come back close to his 2018 level, as the shoulder procedure that ended his 2020 season was not considered complicated,” Gammons wrote.
Corey and Amanda Kluber and their daughters live in Winchester, where Amanda grew up, not far from Pedro Martinez.
Gammons believes the Red Sox are firmly in the mix, but he said Kluber’s agent, B.B. Abbott, told him it will be a while before a decision is made.
He also noted that Chris Sale will “push his return date,” and try to get back out there quickly, but that Tommy John surgery is a 15-to-18-month recovery. Gammons included Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, Connor Seabold, Bryan Mata, and perhaps Stephen Gonsalves as names to monitor for a spot in the rotation.
“It may take a month to know what the Red Sox are going to look like,” Gammons wrote.
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