Corey Kluber Has A Great Spring Finale For The Rays

Tampa Bay Rays fans cheer during Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Corey Kluber finished spring training on a high note, which is huge for him considering how important he is for the Rays’ rotation.

He took the ball on Tuesday and delivered five solid innings in which he only allowed an earned run.

“Final tuneup for the #Rays Corey Kluber. 5 IP, 6H, 1 ER (on wind blown double) 1BB, 4K, 70 pitches/43 strikes. Starts game 3 vs Baltimore,” Rays broadcaster Neil Solondz tweeted.

Completing 70 pitches is actually the biggest takeaway from Kluber’s day, because it puts him in a position to reach around 85 throws to home plate when he takes the ball for the third game of the season, against the Baltimore Orioles.

A Solid Offseason Addition By The Rays

Kluber signed a one-year deal worth $8 million with the Rays early in the offseason, before the lockout.

He parlayed a 3.83-ERA season in 80 innings with the New York Yankees in 2021, one that included a no-hitter.

But he also had to endure a long-term injury: a shoulder strain that took most of his 2021 season with the Bombers.

He came back to make a few starts to end the season, and the Rays are hoping he can show he is healthy enough to provide some quality innings, even if the quantity per se is not the actual priority.

Kluber’s value for a pitching staff, however, goes way beyond the box score.

As a soon-to-be 36-year-old pitcher with multipe Cy Young seasons during his time with the Cleveland Guardians (then Indians), he is a fountain of knowledge for the Rays’ young pitchers, namely Shane McClanahan, Shane Baz, Josh Fleming, Drew Rasmussen. and many others.

He should be a solid addition for the young Rays team in 2022.

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