CLEVELAND -- Just three weeks after fracturing the ulna bone in his right forearm, Corey Kluber had his cast removed on Thursday.
According to X-rays performed ahead of the Indians' series opener against the Rays, the bone in Kluber's pitching arm is healing to the point where he no longer needs to wear the cast.
“He got what we were expecting,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “They said he has the healing, ‘expected healing,’ is the way it was termed. So, he gets that cast off and he can start doing range of motion.”
Kluber has been doing cardio exercises, like the stationary bike, and was seen sprinting in the outfield at Progressive Field on Thursday. He is now in a removable splint, which is about half the size of what the cast previously was.
Francona said that Kluber will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Perez slated for full workout
While Kluber made headway in his recovery process, his batterymate, Roberto Perez, was also expected to take a step in the right direction on Thursday.
After being pulled from Tuesday’s game against the A's with a mild concussion, Perez came in on Wednesday feeling much better and passed all his impact testing. On Thursday, the catcher was scheduled to participate in a full-team workout.
“Obviously, if you have to pull back at some point, you do,” Francona said. “He would go through the full-team workout, and then there’s a process where Major League Baseball has to OK him, not us, and that’s a good thing for guys’ safety. That’s a really good process, so we’ll follow that.”
Tribe seeking offensive consistency
There’s no secret that the Indians have gotten off to a slow start at the plate. And while there have been times that a handful of bats have come together to show glimpses of the lineup's potential, they have struggled to remain consistent, which can be difficult on a hitting coach.
“I think we all wear it to some extent,” Francona said. “We all have a responsibility. The coaches have a responsibility for their area. I have a responsibility for the coaches and then the players. There’s always something to be concerned about. As a hitting instructor, it’s an endless job because you’re never gonna have 12 or 13 guys hot.
"The one minute you think you’ve figured it out, you’d better start all over again. It can be almost thankless at times."
Although times have been tough, Francona said that he hasn’t seen a difference in hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo.
“I’ve not seen his demeanor change at all,” Francona said. “And I try, when we really hit the ball, to make sure I give him an extra ... because I know that they’re putting the same amount of time in, whether we get two hits or 12. And their effort’s the same.
"The best thing I can do is let him do his job. I would never go to a hitter. I think that’s dangerous. I think one, or in our case two voices, because [assistant hitting coach] Victor [Rodriguez] is back there, too. It’s important to have a consistent voice.”
This date in Indians history
1999: The Tribe scored five runs in the ninth inning, capped by a walk-off three-run home run from Omar Vizquel in a 7-4 victory over Detroit.