4:30pm: It gets worse for the Yankees, as Boone has since said Kluber will miss at least eight weeks (via Jack Curry of YES Network). He’ll be shut down from throwing for four weeks and then will have to build up his arm strength for another four.
4:12pm: Yankees right-hander Corey Kluber has a sub-scapular strain in his rotator cuff and will miss at least four weeks, manager Aaron Boone told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com and other reporters. Meanwhile, first baseman Luke Voit has a Grade 2 oblique strain and will go on the 10-day injured list.
Kluber had to leave his start early on Tuesday as a result of this injury, which will at least put a temporary halt to what has been an outstanding season for the two-time American League Cy Young winner. After signing a one-year, $11MM contract with the Yankees in the offseason, Kluber has opened the year with 53 1/3 innings of 3.04 ERA ball, and he fired a no-hitter against Texas last week. It’s by far the best Kluber has looked since earlier in his career, which has been hampered by multiple injuries over the past few years. The former workhorse, 35, totaled just 35 2/3 innings in 2019, his last season with the Indians, because of a fractured forearm. And he was unable to bounce back last year as a member of the Rangers, with whom he threw one inning and was then shut down for good with a shoulder problem.
The loss of Kluber for at least two months (if not more) is obviously a significant blow to the Yankees’ rotation, which has been a strength during the team’s quality start. Ace Gerrit Cole, Domingo German and Jordan Montgomery have all pitched well, while Jameson Taillon’s peripherals are a lot more encouraging than his 5.06 ERA. The Yankees could also get back Luis Severino from Tommy John recovery sometime during the summer, but in the meantime, they’ll turn to Deivi Garcia to fill the last spot in their starting staff.
The loss of Voit is another troubling development for the Yankees, and it continues a difficult, injury-shortened campaign for him. After leading the majors with 22 home runs a season ago, he opened this year on the IL with a torn left meniscus that required surgery. Since he made his season debut in May, Voit has hit an uncharacteristically poor .182/.280/.250 with shockingly little power in 50 plate appearances. Voit has just one home run and a meager .068 ISO thus far. The Yankees seem likely to use Mike Ford and DJ LeMahieu at first base while Voit is absent.
In better news for the Yankees’ offense, slugger Giancarlo Stanton could come off the IL on Friday, Lindsey Adler of The Athletic was among those to report. Stanton, who has been out since May 14, slashed a superb .283/.347/.534 with nine homers in 144 PA before going down with a quad strain.