New York Yankees right-hander Corey Kluber departed his start on Tuesday versus the Toronto Blue Jays after experiencing tightness in his throwing shoulder, according to the team.
Kluber completed three innings against the Blue Jays, permitting two runs on two hits (including a home run by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) and three walks. He also struck out five of the 14 batters he faced. He did not show reduced velocity during his outing. Rather, his sinker clocked in at 91.2 mph, or right line with his seasonal average (91).
Kluber, 35, was making his first start since throwing a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers on May 19. (He threw 101 pitches in that contest, tied for his second-most of the season.) He entered Tuesday having posted a 2.86 ERA (143 ERA+) and a 2.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his first nine starts.
A bastion of good health earlier in his career, Kluber’s durability has become a greater concern in recent years. He missed most of the 2019 campaign after a line drive fractured his arm. He was then limited to just one inning in 2020, the result of a teres major muscle tear in his right shoulder. The Yankees nevertheless felt comfortable with Kluber’s medicals, signing him to a one-year pact worth $11 million over the offseason.
Should Kluber require a stint on the injured list, the Yankees would likely turn to prospect Deivi García to fill his rotation slot. García made a start earlier this year for the Yankees, allowing two runs on three hits over four innings against the Baltimore Orioles. He entered the spring ranked by CBS Sports as the top prospect in the system. Here’s what we wrote at the time:
Garcia made his big-league debut in 2020, compiling a 4.98 ERA and a 5.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio across six regular season starts. He later became the youngest Yankees pitcher to start a postseason contest since Whitey Ford. That’s a nice little beginning to a career, huh? Garcia has the stuff and the athleticism to start — his curveball is likely to be subject to many GIFs — but his size is going to be held against him until he’s able to string together high-quality outings. Garcia is capable of delivering just that, and for the time being the Yankees seem committed to giving him the opportunity.
Coming into play on Tuesday, the Yankees were in third place in the American League East with a 28-19 record.