Can Kluber be a Bloom success story?
The Red Sox’s late addition to a potential rotation is veteran right-hander Corey Kluber. Kluber joins that long list of vets the last few years with mixed results with his one-year $10MM contract. Kluber may make this a six-man rotation. Kluber is a former 20-game winner and two-time Cy Young Award winner while with the Cleveland Indians, now Guardians. Since a spat of injuries, Kluber has bounced around, but last season with Tampa went 10-10 and had a 4.34 ERA.
The “like” portion of the Kluber of 2022 in his 1.2 BB/9 was the best in the American League. Kluber has historically been a great location pitcher who was tight with issuing free passes. Don’t expect speed from Kluber, who can occasionally crank it up to the low 90s, but his cutter, curve, and change keep hitters off balance. Kluber is a location specialist. But what will he be in 2023?
Kluber made 30 starts in 2022 and wracked up 164 innings pitched. The innings total reflects both cautions with Kluber’s health status and Tampa’s extensive bullpen use. A bullpen in Boston has now been rebuilt. Kluber is a safety net as the Red Sox may eventually migrate to a six-man rotation once May rolls around.