Yankees: Corey Kluber’s eventual return from injury might not even matter
Remember when New York Yankees fans deemed the Corey Kluber injury news as “good”? It wasn’t a season-ending ailment, so that’s automatically a positive development after what the Bombers have dealt with from an injury standpoint since 2018.
Once again, we should’ve known better, because each time optimism has a chance to reign supreme, an untimely update or out-of-nowhere development strikes to tear it all down.
In the case of Kluber, you might recall manager Aaron Boone saying on June 3 that the right-hander was set to begin a flat-ground throwing program “in a few days.” And he did!
OK, great. That meant he’d be shut down for a month at the time of his injury on May 25 and probably wouldn’t return for another month. That slates him for the end of July? Eh, let’s be cautious and say beginning of August.
Fast-forward to this weekend and we have an entirely new timetable that’s quite broad. General manager Brian Cashman spoke to the media on Saturday and said Kluber isn’t expected back until August. Fine. Makes sense.
Then he said “more likely” September. So this two month-ish injury has turned into something that’ll exceed three months?
Corey Kluber’s 2021 return might not even matter for the Yankees.
Given that all’s been quiet on the Kluber front, to hit fans with that news baked into a series sweep a the hands of the Red Sox (again) at Fenway Park is absolutely brutal.
Now, sitting at 40-38 and 7.5 games back of the AL East lead, it’s looking more and more like Kluber’s return might not even matter if the Yankees continue at this pace. They’ll be well out of the playoff race unless the Red Sox or Rays happen to collapse.
Or they might sell at the trade deadline! Who knows!
Kluber throwing was a great sight until Cashman delivered the update less than 24 hours later. In classic Yankees fashion, we’ve had a somewhat encouraging string of updates (though devoid of definitive information) turn into a casual, “Oh yeah, you won’t be seeing your No. 2 starter until the season may fully be over for us.”
For everyone skeptical about Cashman signing Kluber for $11 million and trading for Jameson Taillon while jettisoning Masahiro Tanaka, we hear you. Though the momentous changes were the right idea, they were just the wrong ones given how little the two right-handers have pitched since 2019.
In Taillon’s case, that’s showed with his production. In Kluber’s case, it’s shown with his durability in his age-35 season. At least we got that no-hitter to highlight the season.