After winning a Cy Young Award last year, some might think that Corey Kluber might gently ease himself into the workouts during spring training. But that’s not the case. Cleveland’s ace is approaching things the same as before.
During Friday’s endurance test on the first day of workouts for Indians pitchers and catchers, Kluber was one of the last five guys standing.
"He’s so consistent with everything," manager Terry Francona said. "The drill with the cones, I challenge you to go to any team with a guy that won the Cy Young that was third or fourth from winning that. You don’t see that. He does everything well and pays attention to detail."
During the offseason, Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway discussed possibly changing up Kluber’s routine during spring training, especially after the right-hander logged the third-most innings in the American League last year (235 2/3). But on Saturday Francona said that Kluber wants a similar type of preparation that he had last season.
"The one thing we wanted to talk about was maybe a minor-league game at some point if we want to control the intensity of an outing. I do think it helps to limit the intensity or if he wants to work on a pitch," Francona said. "He works great. Pitchers have thrown less without solid mechanics who felt the wear and tear more than Kluber."
With pitchers and catchers through workouts for only two days, Kluber told reporters earlier in the week that the one thing he is pleased about is that there is continuity with the rotation. Gavin Floyd is the only significant newcomer. Through the first four months of last season, the rotation was unsettled due to injuries and performance.
"Each year you get more comfortable with delivery, pitches and attacking hitters. Having confidence feeds off that," Kluber said.
TWO WORKOUTS DOWN: After Saturday’s second day of pitcher and catcher workouts, Francona was a little hesitant to say what jumped out for a couple seconds before lauding the preparation, especially for the group that is fighting for the last spot in the rotation.
"The one thing is you want to make sure everyone is healthy," Francona said. "The way they are throwing the ball without trying to do too much is impressive. I think it bodes well for us moving forward. You don’t go out and throw the ball like that without being prepared."
DROPPING IN: Joe Garagiola Jr., who is MLB’s senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, and MLB director of umpires Randy Marsh visited the complex on Saturday to discuss the pace of game changes that were announced on Friday.
Francona said the biggest thing going into the season with the changes will be the consistency in enforcing stuff.
REPORTING DAY, PART II: The rest of the squad will report Sunday with the first full-squad workout on Tuesday.