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Kluber starting return effort with bullpen session

@MandyBell02
July 16, 2019

CLEVELAND -- It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for Corey Kluber. After going the last two and a half months without pitching, Kluber was cleared to throw his first bullpen session on Wednesday. According to Indians manager Terry Francona, Kluber will throw 20 pitches, all fastballs, and

CLEVELAND -- It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for Corey Kluber.

After going the last two and a half months without pitching, Kluber was cleared to throw his first bullpen session on Wednesday. According to Indians manager Terry Francona, Kluber will throw 20 pitches, all fastballs, and will likely need an extra few days of recovery after his first session.

“It’s a good step for him,” Francona said. “That’s another ... I don’t know if it’s a hurdle, challenge, but it’s a big step, it’s a good step. Now, he won’t be going like every other day, just because of what he’s been through. The first week, 10 days, there will be a little time in between these bullpens, just for obvious reasons.”

Kluber has been sidelined since he was hit in the right forearm with a line drive on May 1 in Miami, fracturing his ulna bone. He was shut down from throwing until June 27, when he began playing catch. After a few weeks of long-toss, he’ll finally get back on the rubber.

“I mean, this kid, if you saw his workouts, he amazes me,” Francona said. “I mean, how he can push himself when people aren’t around, it amazes me. The drive he has is incredible, but he’s a smart kid. He knows that we’re kind of already going pretty quickly, so he’ll be smart about it.”

Bradley optioned

The Indians knew they had a move to make in order to get Zach Plesac back in the rotation for Tuesday’s start, which is why they warned Bobby Bradley when he was first got the call up to the big leagues that his stay may not be tremendously long. Bradley made his debut on June 23, but was shipped back to Triple-A on Tuesday to open a spot on the 25-man roster.

“We don’t want to turn him into a 23-year-old DH,” Francona said. “We don’t think that’s the healthiest thing for him. So, go back, play first base. He’s a hamstring or something away from coming back. But it’s not going to hurt him to get at-bats in Triple-A.”

In 15 games (49 plate appearances), Bradley hit .178 with a .600 OPS, one homer and four RBIs. The 23-year-old also struck out 20 times.

“We all see the potential,” Francona said. “The first 20 at-bats were hard for him. Then he started to catch fire and the break came. That’s understandable. But there’s some sock in that bat, that’s for sure. He’s going to be a good power hitter.”

Otero makes rehab appearance

Dan Otero was placed on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation on June 2, but suffered a setback when the team was in Texas later that month. He was sent on a rehab assignment on Monday, making his first appearance in Class A Mahoning Valley. He threw 14 pitches, 11 for strikes, struck out one batter and allowed one hit in two-thirds of an inning.

“He was funny because he said the first batter swung at all eight pitches he threw, fouled off like seven, and then hit a double,” Francona said. “So, he got to his 15 pitches and got two outs and they took him out. He’s scheduled to pitch again Thursday. He felt good about it. Came away feeling fine. So, that’s good.”

This date in Indians history

1995: Manny Ramirez hit a walk-off homer in the 12th inning off Dennis Eckersley to beat Oakland, 5-4.

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.