MLB News: Latest on Rangers' Corey Kluber, Jays' Ken Giles, More Injuries

Martin FennContributor IIIJuly 28, 2020

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Corey Kluber pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Louis DeLuca)
Louis DeLuca/Associated Press

The Texas Rangers got a pair of excellent performances on the bump from both Lance Lynn and Mike Minor in 2019, and they targeted a third ace in the offseason.

Former Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber made just seven starts last year in an injury-riddled season, but he had also established himself as one of the most dominant pitchers between 2014 and 2018. The Indians were shopping Kluber to cut payroll, and the Rangers pulled the trigger on a deal.

Texas sent relief prospect Emmanuel Clase and outfielder Delino DeShields to the Indians in exchange for Kluber, seemingly giving the Rangers an imposing top three in the rotation.

But that top three did not even stay intact through the opening weekend of the 2020 MLB season.

Kluber made his debut for the Rangers on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies, getting through a scoreless frame in the top of the first before leaving with an injury.

The 34-year-old exited with shoulder tightness at the time, though the brevity of Kluber's outing seemed to lend concern regarding his future status.

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Kluber was diagnosed with a Grade 2 tear of the teres major muscle in his right shoulder, the team announced Monday. The right-hander has been placed on the injured list and will be shut down from throwing for the next four weeks.

This is a major blow both for the Rangers and the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner. Kluber would have hoped to return to his form from 2018, when he went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA. Instead, his future in Texas might be in jeopardy.

Kluber has an $18 million club option for the 2021 season, per Spotrac. It seems unlikely the Rangers will pick up that option given recent events. He was one of the best starters of the last decade. But after five consecutive seasons of at least 203 innings of work followed by a number of injuries, his career might be on the decline.

       

Ken Giles to 10-Day IL with Forearm Strain

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The Toronto Blue Jays knew something was awry with closer Ken Giles on Sunday.

Giles' fastball typically averages close to 97 mph, but he was consistently sitting at 93 mph against the Tampa Bay Rays. 

The team announced Monday that Giles was going on the 10-day IL with a right forearm strain. Toronto is still awaiting MRI results on Giles' elbow, per Keegan Matheson of MLB.com.

The right-hander had seemingly regained his dominant form with the Blue Jays last season, posting a 1.87 ERA and converting 23 of 24 save chances while also striking out 14.1 batters per nine innings.

The 29-year-old might also be a valuable trade asset this summer if he continues to produce results. Giles is set to be a free agent next year and could be shopped at the deadline depending on where the Blue Jays are in the standings. 

For now, Toronto will hope the MRI does not show any structural damage.

      

Reynaldo Lopez Dealing with Shoulder Soreness

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Chicago White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez did not even make it out of the first inning before being pulled from Sunday's game against the Minnesota Twins.

Lopez gave up four runs on three hits and was yanked after experiencing tightness in his right shoulder. The White Sox placed Lopez on the 10-day IL Monday.

Lamond Pope of the Chicago Tribune reported the team hopes to get Lopez treatment for the inflammation in his shoulder and that he can return shortly after the 10-day minimum. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez will take Lopez's spot in the rotation.

The White Sox were hoping to get a bounce-back year out of Lopez, who finished the 2019 campaign with a 5.38 ERA in 33 starts.

Chicago has plenty of young talent, but the rotation depth is running a little thin considering Michael Kopech opted out of the 2020 season. Lopez will look to reclaim his spot after giving the shoulder some added rest and treatment.

     

All stats obtained via Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.

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