While in Boston Chief of Baseball Ops ( see I was nice ) Chaim Bloom is never one not to roll the dice. It's something you have to do when trading away and letting your best players walk in free agency ( stop Murph focus )... sorry. This off season has been no different than his others and one of his rolls is former Ace and Tampa Bay Ray Corey Kluber.
Kluber a two time Cy Young winner back in his days with Cleveland, ( i still can’t say Guardians ) is a lynchpin to any success the Sox have here in 2023. The issue here is can Kluber stay healthy for the entirety of 2023 and into the playoffs ( playoffs ? playoffs ? ) yes people for all the grumbling i've done here in this MLB nothing is uncertain when it comes to the postseason.
But let's digress. Since Kluber broke into the league in 2011 he has been turning heads with his eclectic repertoire but in 2013 people started to notice as his talent really started to translate to game day.. In 2014 he rode a 18-9 record and a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts in 235 innings to his first Cy Young.. You could pencil him in for similar numbers and another Cy over the next 5 years. There were few in baseball who could be compared to him over that timeframe. As he would finish first or top ten in Cy voting in each of the following years between 2014 and 2018.
Then the injuries hit. And hit hard. In 2019 Kluber suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right forearm when he was struck by a pitch off the bat of Marlins right fielder Brian Anderson. And the hits just kept on coming. A Teres major tear and shoulder issues have plagued the former Ace, limiting him to just 24 starts since the 2019 season began and the 2021 season ended. Stops in Texas and the Yankees didn't go well for anyone involved. But then a bit of light showed at the end of the tunnel.
After showcasing himself to a throng of scouts and executives in florida in 2022 Kluber caught on with the you guessed it, the Tampa Bay Rays. Kluber gutted out a .500 10-10 season. He was back up to his 30 start mark and while his ERA was a full run above his career number of 3.31 he did strike out 139 batters in 164 innings. That's the most he has thrown since 2018. His K/BB rate also jumped up to 6.62. That's the best number he’s posted in his career sans his 2017 Cy young season when it was at an unreal 7.36 He signed a prove it deal and i think he did.
Nonetheless 30 starts and an ERA sub four would make you - me - the rest of Red Sox Nation and Chaim Bloom all very happy considering the circumstance of this Red Sox rotation. See folks i can be positive i can see the sun through the clouds. I can remember being 14 and truth be damned think the Sox will win the world series. Everything will have to break perfectly for it to happen but we’ve all seen it before.
As always you can follow / give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207