From Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer comes word that the Indians have placed Corey Kluber on the 15-day disabled list with a sprain of his right middle finger. Matt Langwell, a reliever, was recalled in a corresponding 25-man roster move.
Kluber has quietly been one of the best starting pitchers in the major leagues this season, boasting a 3.54 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 116/26 K/BB ratio in 122 innings. He shut out a dangerous Tigers offense for 7 1/3 frames on Monday but must have suffered the sprained finger at some point during that outing.
This all comes with bad timing for the Indians, who are trying to chase down the Tigers in the American League Central standings and being tailed by the red-hot Royals. It’s not certain how long Kluber will be out.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.