Indians right-hander Corey Kluber might not be a household name yet, but he’s getting closer with every strikeout.
Kluber fanned 12 batters and allowed two runs on five hits and one walk over 7 1/3 innings last night in a victory over the Rockies at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The outing closed the book on a fantastic May, as he posted a 2.04 ERA over six starts and struck out at least eight batters in all of them.
All those strikeouts have put him in some pretty impressive company:
After quietly compiling a 3.85 ERA and 136/33 K/BB ratio over 147 1/3 innings with the Indians last season, Kluber has posted a 3.04 ERA through 12 starts this season and currently leads the majors with 95 strikeouts over 80 innings. His 10.7 K/9 is the best among starters while his 28.4 percent strikeout percentage is only slightly behind that of Zack Greinke, Stephen Strasburg, and Masahiro Tanaka, who have struck out batters at rate of 28.5 percent.
I have begun referring to Kluber as “Klubot the Strikeout Machine,” and I encourage you all to do the same.
Rian Watt of Baseball Prospectus is hearing that a trade that would send Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs involves prospect Gleyber Torres and more going to the Yankees. He adds that the holdup in the trade talks is centered around a contract extension for Chapman, believed to be around four years in length and $60 million total. The deal may not be finalized if the Cubs don’t get him signed to an extension they like. In Watt’s words, “Package is set. Extension is not.”
We learned earlier on Sunday that the Yankees were working hard to trade Chapman, reportedly in contact with at least four teams. The Cubs were not believed to be the front runners but certainly upped the ante by offering Torres.
Torres, 19, is rated the Cubs’ #1 prospect and #24 overall in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The shortstop has spent the season with Single-A Myrtle Beach, batting .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs, 47 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 409 plate appearances.
Torres is currently roadblocked at shortstop by Addison Russell, and 21-year-old Ian Happ is rated #3 in the Cubs’ system, so the club would be dealing from surplus.
Prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mariners, the Blue Jays designated reliever Drew Storen for assignment and recalled reliever Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo.
Storen, 28, had a nightmare of a time with the Jays, leaving with a 6.21 ERA and a 32/10 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him in January from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Storen is owed the remainder of his $8.375 million salary, which makes it likelier that the right-hander will pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the season.