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Corey Kluber is deserving of some attention

May 24, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

Corey Kluber Corey Kluber

Indians starter Corey Kluber shut down the Orioles on Saturday afternoon, blanking them over seven innings on five hits, two walks, and nine strikeouts. It marks his fifth consecutive quality start, and the right-hander now owns a 3.10 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 83/17 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings over 11 starts. Pretty good.

Sure, there are better starters in the American League — Kluber’s ERA is 15th best, which is good but not outstanding. But those ahead of him, with the exception of Angels starter Garrett Richards, have all gotten some press in one way or another. There has been relatively little fanfare around Kluber, even after April 24’s gem against the Royals in which he allowed one unearned run with 11 strikeouts and no walks in a complete game victory, and after May 4’s dominating outing against the White Sox in which he allowed one run over eight innings while striking out 13 and walking two.

By defense-independent measures, Kluber has been among the┬ábest in the league. His 2.23 FIP leads Felix Hernandez at 2.29, and his 2.72 xFIP is fifth-best. For those not familiar, FIP assumes a pitcher’s home run rate is under his control while xFIP assumes a league-average home run rate.

Kluber’s 27 percent strikeout rate is fifth best in the AL and his 5.5 percent walk rate is the 15th-lowest. And the funny thing is, Kluber has arguably been unlucky as his .355 BABIP is well above the league average of .298 for starting pitchers. So there’s reason to believe that Kluber could get even better as the season progresses.

  1. dizzydave29 - May 24, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Congrats to a fellow Stetson Hatter!

  2. theuncletodd - May 24, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    thanks for the bad juju

  3. janessa31888 - May 24, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Several of his starts he was really, really good and got ZERO help from his teammates, leading to some very tough losses. Glad they gave him some support today. Corey is the real ace of this staff so far this year.

  4. Kevin Gillman - May 24, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Corey has been fun to watch, and I think the Indians have 3 solid starters right now that when it’s all said and done can give them a good start every game. Corey, Josh Tomlin, and Trevor Bauer. Imagine how much better this team would be right now if Justin Masterson was half the pitcher he was last season. But another player that needs to start getting noticed is Michael Brantley. Not only is he hitting around .300, and been consistent all season long, and not to mention top 10 in RBIs, but he now leads MLB in outfield assists. In a matter of 2 seasons, he has committed 1 error. He needs to get that Gold Glove, and thank God the Brewers made the playoffs in 2008 with the CC Sabathia trade. They would have had Taylor Green if they hadn’t.

  5. tuberippin - May 24, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    He’s coming around much like Justin Masterson did a short time ago. All the press for Cleveland’s pitching the past couple years has been Ubaldo, Bauer, Salazar, and Chris Perez after his weed arrest, but Masterson and Kluber have been the ones holding it down.

    • Kevin Gillman - May 24, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      I really hope Justin’s velocity comes back up though. I just think he’s injured, like he was in 2012, but didn’t say anything.

  6. jcsbck - May 25, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    The high BABIP has more to do with his stuff being very hittable and not giving up home runs more so than being unlucky.

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