Kluber to keep to regular Spring Training routine
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Corey Kluber logged more innings last year than he had in any other season in his career, but the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner does not want to change his Spring Training program too much. Cleveland's staff does not see any issue with letting the pitcher stay the course.
"It's kind of hard for us to really want to do anything different," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "The way he works and the way he conditions himself, and his routines, he tolerated last year. He looks great."
Last season, the 28-year-old Kluber went 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts in a career-high 235 2/3 innings. His 2014 innings total was a 47-percent increase over his '13 total (159 2/3), and the most innings the righty had thrown in a season prior to last year was 188 1/3 innings (2012), which came between the Major and Minor Leagues.
One thing Francona said the Indians may attempt is to decease the intensity of the innings Kluber does throw early in camp. That might mean having Kluber pitch in Minor League games, rather than in some Cactus League contests.
"When you're on the backfield without the scoreboard and things like that," Francona said, "I do think it helps maybe limit the intensity. Or, if a guy wants to work on a particular pitch, when you have that scoreboard sitting there and people are paying to get in, they always try to make pitches instead of throwing the pitch they need to work on."
"Things are good," Kluber said after a bullpen session Saturday. "This early in spring, you're not going to be locked in, but physically everything feels good. I'm happy with that."
Here are some more notes and quotes from Saturday:
• Indians center fielder Michael Bourn arrived to camp on Saturday and took part in an informal workout on the field. Bourn said he liked the additions of Brandon Moss and Gavin Floyd to the big league roster and did not have any issues with the relatively quiet winter the club had in terms of transactions.
"I don't think sweepig changes were needed," Bourn said. "Of course, they know better than we do. They're the front-office people. That's why they do what they do. We try to come in here and hopefully they put a team together that will be able to compete. Of course, we have that."
• Officials from Major League Baseball were at the Indians' complex on Saturday morning for a meeting with the team. They went over some new rules, including the recently announced changes that are aimed at improving the pace of games. Francona said he is on board with the rule changes.
"Every team is, I'm sure, going to ask certain questions, probably depending on the people that are on their team," said Francona. "I guess the biggest thing I asked for was the consistency of enforcing stuff."
• During Francona's first spring with the Indians in '13, the manager advocated having prospect Tony Wolters transition to catching from the middle infield. The 22-year-old Wolters, who is in camp this spring with Cleveland, has embraced the switch. Last year with Double-A Akron, he threw out 47 percent (25-of-53) would-be basestealers.
"Dave Wallace has probably seen [Wolters] more than anybody," said Francona, referring to Cleveland's Double-A manager. "Dave has said repeatedly that, 'If you didn't know he had changed positions, you wouldn't know that he hadn't come up as a catcher.' That's a pretty big compliment."
• The Indians have scheduled a "B" game against the Reds for March 5, but it remains undecided which team's complex will host the exhibition. Teams often like to add these extra games to help spread the innings among the many pitchers who are in the fold early in camp.