New York Yankees Player Profiles: Corey Kluber 2 time Cy Young Award winner (video)

The New York Yankees turned off the snooze button on January 15, 2020, and signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to bolster their starting pitching rotation. Kluber signed a one year deal that will pay him $11 million. He will become a free agent again at the end of the year, after viewing a pitching demonstration for 25 teams at the Yankee’s director of player health and performance, Eric Cressey’s Florida facility, where Kluber has spent most of his offseason.

This is another one of general manager Brian Cashman’s low-risk signings that could have very high rewards. After having a relatively injury-free eight-year career with the Cleveland Indians, Kluber was hit by a comebacker near the end of the 2019 season. The hit caused a fractured right arm. He tried to come back before the end of the season, but his rehab, other than a couple of starts in the minors, would not allow it.  During the offseason, the Indians traded Kluber to the Texas Rangers. That didn’t work out well for Kluber or the Rangers as he pitched in only one game in 2020 after tearing a teres major muscle after just one inning.

Kluber dazzled scouts with his Florida demonstration and appeared very healthy. He commanded his pitches well, according to scouts, and flashed typical velocity for this point in the offseason. That performance caused the New York Yankees to take a chance on the 34-year-old. They signed him just three days later. The Yankees didn’t sign Kluber blindly; they have been watching his rehab with Cressey very carefully.

Now it’s time for Yankee fans to get to know their number two man behind Yankee ace Gerrit Cole. Kluber arrived on the baseball scene when the San Diego Padres drafted him in 2008. Like many pitchers, Kluber showed signs of brilliance but stumbled through his minor league years and ended up being traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2010.

But let’s start at the beginning. Corey Scott Kluber was born on April 10, 1986, in Birmingham, Alabama. He grew up in Coppell, Texas, where he played baseball for the high school there. Stetson University coaches recruited him after his performance drew their attention at the World Wood Bat Championships in Jupiter, Florida.

His junior year was his last year with the Stetson Hatters, during which he registered a 12–2 win-loss record and a 2.05 ERA with 117 strikeouts. In 2007, he was named the Atlantic Sun Conference’s ‘Pitcher of the Year’ and was selected as a member of the ‘Ping! Baseball All-American Second Team’ and the ‘American Baseball Coaches Association All-Atlantic Region Second Team. That would be the end of his amateur career as the San Diego Padres drafted him.

After being traded to the Cleveland Indians, he was assigned to the Akron Aeros of the Class AA Eastern League and was added to their 40-man roster after going through the Winter Development Program. He made his Major League debut for the Indians on September 1, 2011. In August 2012, he was brought in to the Indians’ rotation, and that began a career that could only be dreamed about.

2013, 11-5, ERA 3.85. Two back to back 14 strikeout games.

2014, 18-9, ERA 2.44. Two more back to back 14 strikeout games, player of the month. Cy Young Award winner.
2015, April an 18 strikeout game. Due to no run support, 9-16, ERA 3.49.
2016, 18-9, ERA 3.14. All-Star, Sporting News Starting Pitcher of the Year.
2017, 18-4, ERA 2.25. All-Star and second Cy Young Award.
2018, 20-7, ERA 2.89.  20 win season. September was hit by a comebacker.
2019, 2-3, in only 7 games, ERA 5.80, failed rehab. Traded.
2020 0-0, pulled shoulder after only one inning with the Rangers.
Now the New York Yankees hope the star can return to his previous greatness. If he can’t, they haven’t lost much, small dollars and only for a year, and they move on. If successful, they have a second Gerrit Cole on their hands and are on the way to a World Series.
New York Yankee fans will be delighted to watch Corey pitch. One of the reasons he is so successful is that he is a five-pitch pitcher that can complete games. Kluber throws five pitches: a four-seam fastball, a sinker, a cutter, a breaking ball, and a change. His strikeout pitch is his dominant two-seam sinker. He has been a workhorse and will be unfazed by playing in New York as he is stoic on the mound and doesn’t lose his cool. By all accounts, he is also a nice guy and a good teammate.
As I said before, Kluber will become 35 this April, just a week and a half after the season’s projected start. Kluber and his wife, Amanda, have three children, named Kendall, Kennedy, and Camden. They reside in her hometown of Winchester, Massachusetts. Corey’s hobby is golf that he often plays with his father. In 2018, he and his wife launched The Kluber Family Foundation to help families with seriously ill and chronically ill children.



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