Kluber to make 1st rehab start Thurs. at Triple-A

August 4th, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The Columbus Clippers might have thought “Thirsty Thursday” was the most marketable aspect of their Thursday afternoon game against Pawtucket, but here comes Corey Kluber to up the ante.

As was expected after his two-inning simulated session at Progressive Field on Saturday, Kluber will start for the Triple-A club Thursday in his first rehab assignment and first actual game activity since suffering a non-displaced fracture in his right forearm back on May 1.

A Minor League rehab stint for a pitcher can last up to 30 days. The Indians will monitor Kluber’s progression in his starts to determine when he is ready to return to the big league rotation.

With Trevor Bauer dealt to the Reds last week, Kluber’s already-anticipated return is even more anticipated for the Indians.

Kluber said after his Saturday session that he is using all his pitches without hesitation.

“The first time I played catch, there was a little hesitation,” he said. “The first time I threw my changeup [in a bullpen session], there was hesitation. But once it feels fine, from then on, you’re trying to treat everything as normal as possible.”

Other injury updates

In addition to the Kluber confirmation, the Indians had a few other bits of injury news:

• Outfielder Tyler Naquin was not in Sunday’s lineup against the Angels due to sore ribs on his left side, but he was available off the bench.

• Outfielder Bradley Zimmer sustained a setback last week in his recovery from a strained muscle in his side, but he is now progressing. He’s at the Indians’ facility in Goodyear, Ariz., and throwing to bases. His game activity is to be determined.

• Right-hander Jefry Rodriguez, sidelined since early June with a right shoulder strain, is throwing bullpen sessions in Arizona.

• There is no change in Carlos Carrasco’s status as he tries to work his way back to a big league mound in the midst of leukemia treatment. Carrasco has been throwing on the side and has been a regular presence around his teammates. There is still no timetable for his return.

• Right-hander Dan Otero (shoulder) threw another bullpen session Sunday without issues. He’ll be reevaluated Monday to determine a rehab schedule.

Civale returns Monday

As announced earlier in the week, right-hander Aaron Civale will be promoted from Columbus on Monday to face the Rangers in his second Major League start.

In his first, back on June 22 against the Tigers, Civale threw six scoreless innings.

“The first time, you’re just kind of hoping that the moment doesn’t overwhelm him,” manager Terry Francona said. “He did a great job. You could tell by the way the guys were playing behind him. They were enjoying it. He was attacking the zone, wasn’t afraid of contact, was throwing that breaking ball. He did a great job.”