9:21pm: Kluber offered some positive news after the game, telling Andy Martino of SNY and other reporters that he didn’t feel any pain during his outing. He added that this problem “doesn’t feel at all like what I dealt with last year.”
7:46pm: The Yankees announced that right-hander Corey Kluber left his start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday with tightness in his pitching shoulder. He’ll undergo an MRI on Wednesday.
Kluber, making his first start since throwing a no-hitter against the Rangers last Wednesday, went just three innings before departing. He allowed two runs on two hits and three walks (with five strikeouts), raising his season ERA to a still-excellent 3.04 over 53 1/3 innings. To this point, the two-time American League Cy Young winner has been a tremendous signing for the Yankees, who gave him a one-year, $11MM guarantee in free agency. They took that gamble after the former Indians ace missed nearly the entire 2019 season because of a fractured forearm and then totaled a mere one inning last year with the team he just no-hit, Texas. Kluber left his first start with the Rangers on account of shoulder tightness and then sat out the rest of the year with a Grade 2 tear of the teres major muscle.
The fact that the 35-year-old Kluber’s shoulder is acting up again is clearly a worrying sign for him and the Yankees, whose rotation has posted a sterling 3.31 ERA and helped them to a 28-19 record. Kluber, Domingo German and Jordan Montgomery have served as highly capable complements to all-world righty Gerrit Cole, and Jameson Taillon’s peripheral numbers suggest his 5.06 ERA will trend in a better direction. But the Yankees now have to wonder how much more they’ll get from Kluber this season as a result of this news.