Corey Kluber is sidelined indefinitely with a sprained right middle finger, an injury that could severely harm the Indians’ playoff chances.
The Indians placed Kluber on the 15-day disabled list, one day after he got hurt while pitching 7 1-3 shutout innings against the Detroit Tigers. Kluber is the second Cleveland starter to be sidelined by a middle finger sprain, following Zach McAllister who recently returned after missing nearly two months with the injury.
The team did not give a timetable on a possible return date for Kluber, who has been one of the Indians’ most consistent starters this season. It’s possible he may not be able to pitch again in 2013.
Kluber did not say anything about his finger following Monday’s game, and manager Terry Francona did not mention that a roster move was upcoming when he met with reporters before Tuesday’s game.
Kluber is 7-5 with a 3.54 ERA in 19 starts. The 26-year-old has pitched 122 innings, second on the team to Justin Masterson, who had thrown 156 entering his start on Tuesday night.
With Kluber out, there’s a chance rookie Danny Salazar could join Cleveland’s rotation for the remainder of the season. Salazar will make his second career start on Wednesday against the AL Central-leading Tigers. Salazar carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his debut on July 11 against Toronto.
The Indians will closely monitor Salazar’s innings. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010.
To replace Kluber, the Indians recalled reliever Matt Langwell from Triple-A Columbus. The right-hander will be starting his third stint with Cleveland. He went 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in five appearances.