KANSAS CITY -- Given Corey Kluber's importance to the Indians' rotation, the staff ace is doing everything in his power to prepare for his scheduled start against the Red Sox on Wednesday. The right-hander passed a big test Sunday with a bullpen session at Kauffman Stadium.
A couple hours before the Tribe's 7-4 loss to the Royals, Kluber tested his mildly sprained right ankle with a mound workout that lasted roughly 10 minutes. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway and head athletic trainer James Quinlan closely monitored the session, which went well enough to convince manager Terry Francona that Kluber is "good to go" for Wednesday.
"He did really good. No restrictions. He's fine," Francona said after Sunday's game.
Kluber also said he is working toward taking the ball on Wednesday.
"We haven't discussed any of the plans, but I'm working under that assumption," Kluber said. "[The bullpen session] felt pretty close to normal, so I think with a couple more days of treatment, it will be fine."
Through 21 starts this season, Kluber has gone 12-3 with a 2.67 ERA and 196 strikeouts against 31 walks in 145 innings for the American League Central-leading Indians. In the sixth inning of his start against Kansas City on Friday night, Kluber rolled his ankle while running off the mound to cover first, and exited the game after logging only 74 pitches.
Francona noted that the Indians have a backup plan in case Kluber encounters a setback, but the manager was not willing to delve into the details.
"We'll keep re-evaluating and talk to him multiple times about making sure he's OK," Francona said. "I think he's feeling pretty optimistic, but we'll keep an eye on him. We've already talked to [president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti] about potentially what we could do. I think we're organized about it. We'll see how he's doing."
Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall (10-day disabled list, right calf) went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs in his latest Minor League rehab game with Triple-A Columbus on Saturday. Chisenhall has gone 4-for-11 in four Minor League games and has gotten reps in both left and right field, but he's still a few days away from potentially being activated.
Chisenhall's wife is scheduled to give birth to their third child on Monday, and the outfielder will miss a few games as a result. Francona noted that Chisenhall will probably need a couple more rehab games before rejoining Cleveland's outfield mix.
"He swung the bat well," Francona said. "We'll have to get him back up and play a bit more at least, because he hasn't played."