Kluber continues progress in return from injury

July 24th, 2019

TORONTO -- Indians starter took another step in his recovery on Wednesday in Toronto, as he threw a 35-pitch bullpen prior to Cleveland’s series finale against the Blue Jays.

Kluber threw fastballs and changeups exclusively, and came away from the session feeling well, manager Terry Francona said. Kluber has been working his way back from sustaining a non-displaced ulna fracture in his right arm in early May.

The right-hander is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Saturday, when the Indians are in Kansas City. As of Wednesday afternoon, it wasn’t clear if his next session would include breaking pitches or a higher pitch count.

Kluber posted an uncharacteristic 5.80 ERA over his first seven starts this season. But as one of baseball’s best pitchers over the past five years, the two-time Cy Young Award winner could tip the scales for Cleveland when he eventually returns.

With , , and Zach Plesac owning ERAs below 3.70 in the rotation and a tremendous bullpen, the Indians can continue to lean on its pitching down the stretch as they fight to stay atop the American League Wild Card race and chase the Twins in the AL Central.

is another arm working his way back after hitting the IL with right shoulder inflammation in early June. He threw a clean inning with one strikeout on 14 pitches for Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday, and will pitch again on Wednesday.

“He’ll have two days off and then pitch Saturday, most likely,” Francona said. “Again, we get to a point where he’s probably close to where he could be ready. We’ll talk to him after he pitches to figure out where he thinks he’s at.”

Naquin testing hamstring

Outfielder was held out of Tuesday’s game after experiencing some tightness in his upper right hamstring. He was not in the lineup again on Wednesday.

Francona said that Naquin woke up feeling symptom-free, however, and tested the hamstring before the game with the training staff.