When the New York Yankees signed Corey Kluber to a one-year, $11 million deal, they knew it might take him some time to fight back to his regular form. He hasnâ€™t pitched in almost a year, seeing just 36.2 innings since 2018.
His last successful season came in 2018 when he posted a 2.89 ERA and 3.12 FIP. His 5.5 WAR was down a bit from 7.2 in 2017, when he logged a 2.25 ERA.
Over the last decade, Kluber is considered one of the best pitchers in baseball, but unfortunate injuries have set him back significantly. A broken arm caused by a line drive ended his season prematurely in 2019, and a shoulder injury derailed his 2020 season.
After months of rehabilitation, Kluber made his first appearance for the Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays in Wednesday nights game. Unfortunately, the game was not televised for everyone to enjoy his stellar performance. He lasted 2.0 innings, striking out three batters and allowing zero Blue Jays on base.
â€œI feel like it was pretty solid. First and foremost, I think it was nice to get out there and. Fun to get out there and face another team. I was joking around afterwards, itâ€™s the first time Iâ€™ve gone multiple innings against a real opponent in almost two years, which is too long,â€ Kluber said after the Yankees 4-1 win. â€œSo it was fun to get out there. And obviously, thereâ€™s a bonus that it went well as well. I think first and foremost, I just kind of want to get out there and feel the adrenaline of being in the game and stuff again.â€
â€œI probably maybe needed a little bit of that adrenaline to kind of remind my body what it feels like to go out there and have that,â€ Kluber said. â€œItâ€™s hard to replicate that in a bullpen and replicate that in a live BP. For me, at least, itâ€™s hard to get that same amount of adrenaline, same butterflies, all that kind of stuff. So I think it was good for me to feel that and go out there and kind of regulate everything and pitch with that..â€