The New York Yankees have been active over the past few weeks, acquiring starting pitchers and preparing themselves for the 2021 campaign. General manager Brian Cashman waited patiently for his time to strike, and while some of the players he acquired are rehabilitating from significant injuries, it seemed as if they will all be ready for Opening Day.
One of Cashmanâ€™s acquisitions, Corey Kluber, is rehabilitating from the injury in 2020. He experienced shoulder tightness this past season and was subsequently diagnosed with a torn teres major muscle, landing him out on the injured list.
However, Kluber is feeling 100% healthy when it comes to his physical state. But his issues go beyond the physical nature of his rehabilitation, as he mentally needs to find his way back to normal.
â€œI consider myself to be healthy at this point,â€™â€™ Kluber said. â€œIâ€™m not rehabbing anything or tending to any issues lingering with anything. Iâ€™m basically at the normal stage of my offseason right now, which is a good feeling to be at: to be out of the rehab mode and just try to get ready for the season.â€
â€œI think that familiarity for me definitely was a good thing,â€™â€™ Kluber said. â€œGoing through a couple different things the last two years, having that familiarity with both Eric and Matt is something that I considered when making this decision.â€™â€™
As long as Corey can overcome the mental issues that accompany two years of rehabilitation, he can return to his former self. In 2018, he recorded a 2.89 ERA over 215 innings, logging 20 total wins. Over the past two seasons, though, heâ€™s only pitched 36.2 innings, limiting his sample size and production.
â€œItâ€™s a matter of overcoming the mental aspect of it as opposed to the physical,â€™â€™ Kluber said. â€œI think what I feel Iâ€™m working on right now, as far as getting ready for the season, is kind of getting out of the rehab mindset â€” where youâ€™re kind of trying to work through things or feel for things â€” to get to the point of trying to execute pitches. And hopefully when we get to have hitters in the box, Iâ€™m not worried about a delivery or anything like that. Youâ€™re just trying to get outs.â€