1. Corey Kluber
It’s time for Michael Wacha to pass his Rays torch on to a new thorn in the Yankees’ side.
What’s that? Wacha’s staying in the division, too? He’s simply going to the Red Sox? Joy.
I know it’s reductive at this point to shrug in the general direction of the Rays’ underwhelming pitching moves and simply say, “Eh, it’ll work out,” but you know what? It usually does! And mostly against the Bombers.
Wacha was otherwise a disaster last season (5.05 ERA after a 6.62 mark with the Mets the year prior), but against New York? 1.66 ERA and 25 Ks in 21.2 innings pitched, which sounds like a “small sample size,” but is actually relatively significant compared to his overall body of work last year (124.2 innings in total, about 1/6 of his season!).
We wish him well in Boston — well, no we don’t, but we’re going to get his absolute best, regardless of what we wish. Now, it’s time to turn that Incensed Wacha Energy on Corey Kluber.
Outside of a brief stretch of relevance in May capped by a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers, Kluber did not look like his old self. He didn’t provide much length; he was typically good for four innings and two or three earned runs per start. He was prone to a one-inning implosion. He was rarely even on the mound. It was the kind of calculated and expensive risk the Yankees are supposed to be able to absorb, except then they spent a good deal of the rest of the offseason crying about how his cost was un-absorbable. Oops!
Now, he’s a Ray. We have no reason to believe he’s healthy and will make any sort of return to relevance other than the preceding sentence. I’ll write it again. He’s a Ray.
If he were a Twin, we wouldn’t be predicting this whatsoever, nor a White Sox, Guardian, or Tiger. Since he’s wearing that damn TB, he’ll be dynamite AND available. And you all knew it as soon as the news broke, too.