But after watching the contest, you likely walked away thankful that a sliver of the old master was certainly still in that right arm.
The worry, of course, was that the command issues that plagued Kluber throughout the spring would have manifested from the first pitch, and we’d get very little actionable data about what he might look like at his new peak.
On the contrary, Kluber started out looking incredible, encountered a speed bump, and still battled through it to minimize the damage while working on a pitch count.
This wasn’t just a standard test, either. This was the Toronto Blue Jays offense, among the game’s best, two days after the Yankees had begun the year by laying an egg.
Even with every constraint in the book, Kluber certainly passed with flying pinstripes.
Corey Kluber’s highlights from his Yankees debut were impressive.
On the whole, Kluber’s highlights featured astounding paint, and after his lowlights, he battled time and again to minimize the damage done.
Especially impressive was his work in the third inning, the first time he hit a speed bump in any capacity. After sending Yankee Killer Randal Grichuk back to the dugout on some frisbee sliders, his velocity hit a plateau and his breaking stuff lost all effectiveness, leading to two consecutive weird walks and a wild pitch.
He then recovered to strike out two of Toronto’s most fearsome hitters in Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette, with the only run scoring on a strange Gary Sanchez/Gleyber Torres missed connection.
And, oh yeah: he also did this in the second inning.
At times on Saturday, Kluber was phenomenal. At others, he looked like a pitcher operating a level below his upper tier, but with the ability to fight through it.
Never did he play the role of the washed-up veteran desperately searching for his old mojo. That was Yankees fans’ worst nightmare, and they received a much more pleasant experience the first time around.