Class time: Kluber gives backyard paint lesson

April 24th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- How does a two-time Cy Young winner stay ready during a national emergency?

Rangers right-hander has found a way in the backyard of his suburban home outside Boston. His mound is a platform that coaches use to throw batting practice. Instead of a catcher, he is throwing into a net 60-feet, six inches away.

The Rangers went into Spring Training with a set rotation of Kluber, , , and . The trick now is to keep them all in shape while awaiting the call to go back to work. Hitters, meanwhile, took some hacks at Globe Life Field on Wednesday.

“They are all in pretty good shape,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. “I feel confident they are all doing everything they can to stay ready. Most of them are throwing bullpens. Some of them don’t have catchers to throw to, but they are throwing off a mound and into a net or something.”

Right now, the goal is to throw 40-50 pitch “bullpens” twice a week. The five starters are staying in regular contact with pitching coach Julio Rangel and sending in video if they have it.

“Those guys are professionals,” Woodward said. “We are very fortunate to have those five guys. I would worry if it’s a younger pitcher who doesn’t necessarily have the means to prepare on their own. I trust these guys are doing everything they can to be ready to throw in a month’s time.”

And for Kluber, that consists of brushing aside some bouncy balls and toys in the backyard, with his pooch, Hercules, looking on.