CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – With a Sunday night start looming, it seemed obvious that Indians ace Corey Kluber would not pitch in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. That idea was confirmed on Friday.
He will be replaced by Houston Astros reliever Chris Devenski.
Starting the final game in all of baseball before the break was the clear deciding factor in the decision, but Indians President Chris Antonetti said the former Cy Young winner also had extenuating circumstances.
“I think we looked at Corey’s workload over the past two years, inclusive of the team he pitched in the postseason, the fact that he did meet some time with the back injury earlier this year, he’s going to be starting not only on Sunday but pitching on Sunday night, and then arriving in Miami at four o’clock in the morning,” Antonetti said. “You take the totality of those factors in consideration, it didn’t make sense for him to pitch in the game.”
Kluber has thrown 713 pitches over 51 innings since returning from the disabled list on June 1 following a strained lower back. He also threw 519 pitches in less than a month, spanning over 34 1/3 innings last post-season.
The right-hander said the decision was collaborative and that everybody was ‘on the same page’ with the plan.
“I still don’t want to go out there and be trying to pitch when maybe you’re not ready to and then end up hurting something else,” he said.
Kluber said his routine through the All-Star Break has not yet been determined, but that he will enjoy being able to enjoy all that comes with the trip.
“In a different sense, I think it’s fun, obviously — last year was fun to get to actually pitch in the game and go out there and compete and face some of the best hitters in the world,” he added. “But at the same time, being able to sit back and enjoy watching the game in the dugout and take it in.”