Indians fans will be relieved to hear that Corey Kluber was back to throwing darts at Progressive Field again on Saturday–even if Kluber’s teammates weren’t set to take the field for several hours. Before Cleveland’s game with the Angels today, the decorated hurler threw roughly 35 pitches in a simulated game setting, according to a report from Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. While facing three batters from the organization’s Double-A Akron affiliate, Kluber was able to get his fastball up to 89 mph, which manager Terry Francona saw as encouraging progress. “I was kinda surprised [Kluber] was actually at that point, just because [of] the lack of what he’s been doing for three months,” Francona told reporters. Kluber has been sidelined since May 1st with a non-displaced fracture to his arm’s ulna bone–an injury he suffered when struck by a comebacker off the bat of Miami’s Brian Anderson. After the Progressive session, Francona said Kluber would start his rehab assignment in the minors on Thursday.
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- Dodgers righty Ross Stripling was also seen on the mend today, as a “max effort” bullpen session didn’t seem to produce any pain in his injured neck and biceps, according to Orange County Register writer Bill Plunkett (Twitter link). Manager Dave Roberts later told Plunkett that Stripling would make an appearance with the club’s affiliate in Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, with the team still uncertain of his post-activation role on the roster (link). Of course, the Texas A&M product has shown comfort in his career thus far in both bullpen and starting roles: since his debut in 2016, Stripling has posted a 3.24 ERA in 125 career relief innings, contrasted with a respectable 3.70 ERA in 248 starting frames.
- Sidelined Rays reliever Jose Alvarado told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he will likely rejoin his team next weekend for a slate of games against the Mariners, after completing two scheduled rehab appearances with Tampa affiliates (Twitter link). Juan Toribio of MLB.com further elucidates that Alvarado (oblique) will pitch tomorrow for High-A Charlotte–welcome news for a Rays team that has been without the strikeout-inducing arm of Alvarado since July 7th. The Tampa pen unit has pitched well in the last week following a rough July, but would surely benefit from the inclusion of Alvarado into a mix that was augmented greatly by the team’s moves at the MLB trade deadline.