What significant Corey Kluber ‘blow’ means for Yankees

In the first significant blow to the Yankees’ rotation, Corey Kluber was diagnosed with a shoulder strain.

Corey Kluber gave the Yankees a solid two months.

Now, the right-hander will almost certainly be out at least the next two months.

In the first significant blow to the Yankees’ rotation, Kluber was diagnosed with a shoulder strain after an MRI on Wednesday that will force him to be shut down for a minimum of four weeks, Aaron Boone said.

The manager added that “probably” means Kluber will miss at least eight weeks.

The development came a day after Kluber left his start in The Bronx with tightness in the shoulder after three innings in his first outing since he threw a no-hitter in Texas last week. He was set to get another, more invasive, MRI on Wednesday to make sure the injury isn’t worse than the Yankees believe.

Boone said Kluber and the doctors were confident the injury is unrelated to the teres major muscle tear he suffered after throwing just one inning for the Rangers last year.

Dr. James Gladstone, chief of sports medicine at Mount Sinai Health System, agreed, noting the two injuries are located in different parts of the shoulder. If no further damage is found, Kluber could return following the time off.

Corey Kluber
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“We’ll have to pick up the slack for him and hope he’ll be able to rejoin the rotation at some point in the future,’’ Boone said.

Kluber said Tuesday he had trouble loosening up before his start and the discomfort continued in the first two innings, as he struggled with his command.

When the situation didn’t improve in the third, the decision was made to pull Kluber after 58 pitches.

The origin of the new injury has been difficult to pinpoint, according to Boone, but regardless of how it happened, the loss of Kluber leaves a hole in the rotation that will need to be filled.

Even before Kluber’s injury, Deivi Garcia was slated to pitch in Detroit this weekend, as the Yankees looked to give their regular starters extra rest.

With Kluber out, Garcia figures to stick around even beyond this weekend.

The 22-year-old gave up two runs in four innings in his one spot start for the Yankees in April and after having a hard time with his command in his first two outings with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Garcia pitched much better in his last two starts at SWB.

“This creates an opening and an opportunity,’’ Boone said of Kluber’s injury. “[Garcia] is gonna get some chances and looks. Hopefully he can capitalize.”

Deivi Garcia
AP

Michael King will also be “in the mix” to pick up innings, although he’s not stretched out to be a starter.

Clarke Schmidt, another young right-hander the Yankees had high hopes for this season, still isn’t throwing off a mound as he comes back from an elbow injury he suffered during the spring that has kept him sidelined for much longer than anticipated.

The Yankees are also awaiting the return of Luis Severino, who is rehabbing from last year’s Tommy John surgery. He could be back by July.

Plenty of innings will have to be filled before then after what Boone said was a somewhat surprising turn of events for Kluber.

Boone said he spoke with Kluber on Wednesday before the results of the MRI were known and Kluber told him he felt like he did normally the day after he pitches.

“Getting that news was certainly a blow,’’ Boone said.

And with Jameson Taillon and Domingo German also coming off seasons in which they didn’t pitch at all, the Yankees were already planning to be creative with their rotation. They’ll have to get even more creative now.

“Next man up,’’ Boone said. “Those are valuable innings we’ve got to make up for in the short term, at least. We’ll find a way to do that.”

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin

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