COREY SCOTT KLUBER
Image of
Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   INDIANS
Height: 6' 4" Bats:   R
Weight: 215 Throws:   R
DOB: 4/10/1986 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 28  
Birth City: Binghamton, Florida
Draft: Padres #4 - 2007 - Out of Stetson Univ. (FL)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2007 NWL EUGENE   10 33.1 28 33 15 7 0 0 0 1 1   3.51
2008 CAL LAKE ELSINORE   19 85.1 93 75 34 16 0 0 0 2 5   6.01
2008 MWL FORT WAYNE   10 56 49 72 13 10 0 0 0 4 3   3.21
2009 TL SAN ANTONIO   9 45 45 35 34 9 0 0 0 2 4   4.60
2009 CAL LAKE ELSINORE   19 109 110 124 36 19 0 0 0 7 9   4.54
2010 IL COLUMBUS   2 11 10 8 6 2 0 0 0 1 1   3.27
2010 EL AKRON   5 26.1 38 21 10 5 0 0 0 2 2   3.76
2010 TL SAN ANTONIO   22 122.2 121 136 40 21 0 0 0 6 6   3.45
2011 IL COLUMBUS   27 150.2 153 143 70 27 0 0 0 7 11   5.56
2011 AL INDIANS   3 4.1 6 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.3 8.31
2012 AL INDIANS   12 63 76 54 18 12 0 0 0 2 5 0.295 5.14
2012 IL COLUMBUS   21 125.1 121 128 49 21 1 0 0 11 7   3.59
2013 AL INDIANS   26 147.1 153 136 33 24 0 0 0 11 5 0.271 3.85
2013 IL COLUMBUS   2 12.1 14 12 3 2 0 0 0 1 1   6.57
2014 AL INDIANS $514.00 34 235.2 207 269 51 34 3 1 0 18 9 0.233 2.44
2015 AL INDIANS $1,000.00 32 222 189 245 45 32 4 0 0 9 16 0.231 3.49
2016 AL INDIANS $4,700.00 32 215 170 227 57 32 3 2 0 18 9 0.216 3.14
2017 EL AKRON   1 5 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0   0.00
2017 AL INDIANS $7,700.00 21 145 103 196 31 21 4 2 0 12 3 0.198 2.67
Personal
  • Kluber was one of former Stetson coach Terry Rooney's final recruits before Rooney left for Notre Dame.
  • In 2007, Corey was the Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year after going 12-2 with a 2.05 ERA.
  • In the spring of 2011, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Kluber as the 26th-best prospect in the Indians' organization.

    FREAK INJURY 

  • Corey Kluber did what any good baseball dad does during the offseason. In November 2012, he picked up his eight-month old daughter, found a spot on the floor, and went to work on changing a diaper. Sitting with his legs crossed, Kluber finished, grabbed Kendall and pushed himself up. That is when the Indians pitcher blew out his right knee. Talk about an embarrassing phone call to the Indians' medical staff.

    "It was," Kluber said. "My knee was stuck back, because the meniscus flipped under and got pinched between the bones. I couldn't straighten my leg out. I was basically lying down on the couch trying to straighten it, telling them, 'Hey, I don't really know what happened.'"

    It is a funny story to tell now because of what has happened in the months since the injury. The knee, which was surgically repaired on Nov. 30, 2012, has not been an issue for Kluber.

    "I'm so proud of him," Terry Francona said in July 2013. "You've heard me refer to the glass being half-full a lot of times, and it's because of guys like him. He's getting better, it seems like, almost every start, whether he's learning something or gaining experience. And, in the meantime, he's winning games."

  • A large part of the pitcher's success in 2013 has been an aggressiveness with his two-seam fastball that was not there in his dozen starts as a rookie in 2012.

    "He knows that when he pitches aggressively with his fastball, he's a much better pitcher," Francona said. "And there's innings where he's gotten away from it, and he knows it, but that's part of maturing as a pitcher. When the damage is starting, handling it, regrouping, trusting your stuff, that's part of it."

    Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said the roots of Kluber's transformation were planted during the 2012 season. As the Minor League pitching coordinator at the time, Callaway noticed that Kluber was too reliant on his four-seam fastball and offspeed pitches in the first half with Triple-A Columbus. Callaway discussed things with Ruben Niebla, Columbus' pitching coach at the time, and the consensus was that the pitcher could benefit from focusing more on his two-seamer.

    If Kluber could establish that pitch aggressively and efficiently, it would open the door for his slider, cutter, and changeup to be more effective.

    "It was a good learning experience for me," Kluber said. "I did go through some troubles at the beginning, but toward the end of the year I had some good outings to build off. I think I was getting caught up a little too much in the different scouting resources (in 2012): 'This against this guy,' or 'This against that guy,' instead of falling back on what works for me. Stick with what you do well." (Jordan Bastian - MLB.com - 7/25/13) 

  • Former Padres scouting director Joe Gayton and Joe Bochy, the San Diego scout who signed Kluber, saw the potential in Kluber's delivery, demeanor and drive. These days, it has become a running joke in Cleveland that Kluber rarely smiles and operates like a machine. Gayton laughed when told that the pitcher has been called "Klubot" for his personality behind the scenes and poise on the field.

    "He's very serious. I remember that. Very serious," Gayton said. "For me, as the scouting director, I wasn't going to get to know him like some other kids over a short period of time. He was just a quiet kid. [Stetson head coach] Pete Dunn told me, 'He's a great kid. He's fun to be around.' I said, 'Really, he opens up?'"

    One attribute that really stood out to Gayton early on was Kluber's willingness to take advice.

    "He was just a great kid, very open to suggestions," said Gayton, who currently works as a professional scout with the D-backs. "He was just outstanding to work with."

  • Asked about Kluber's rapid ascension to becoming a Major League ace, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti cracks a smile. "It's been really fun to watch," Antonetti said. "More than anything, it's been great to watch the way Klubes has gone about it. His success is not accidental. He didn't just turn into a Cy Young Award winner. He puts in the work every single day—whether it's during the offseason or during the regular season—to be the best he can be. He's constantly looking to improve."

  • The pitcher downplays capturing the AL Cy Young Award. "I'm sure you can imagine that all that attention isn't really my thing," Kluber said. Naturally, Kluber downplays the heightened expectations for his encore. "I don't think that adds any pressure for me, what other people are expecting," Kluber said. "I think I probably hold myself to a higher standard than the outsiders do anyways."

    Such responses, and Kluber's seemingly unflappable demeanor, are what have earned him the nickname "Klubot" over the past few years. He is the same on the mound, almost expressionless in both good and bad moments.

    Francona said Kluber's personality is another advantage on the mound.  "It's a very good trait," Francona said. "When other guys in the other dugout don't know if you're happy, sad, feeling good, feeling bad, that's really good. Because a lot of times, by your body language, you give the other team a little bit more motivation or more confidence by how you're carrying yourself." (Bastian - mlb.com - 4/3/15)

  • "He had raw stuff [in the Minor Leagues]," Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. "The erratic fastball command was concerning for me. But I knew, if he can get his fastball over and make that a priority, he was going to have some really good success. When Kluber kind of made that adjustment, he took off."

    And Kluber didn't look back. "It makes me look realy good, doesn't it?" catcher Yan Gomes said with a laugh. "Things aren't just happening because he's getting lucky. He's really put in work. I think guys are really starting to pay attention to that. Everybody knows the young pitching staff that we have. That's the kind of guy that we want up there leading us."

    "It's exciting for me personally that next time out there will be when it counts," Kluber said. "I'm happy with where I'm at both physically and mentally. I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to it." (Bastian - mlb.com - 4/3/15)

  • "Kluber pays attention to detail so well," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You kind of wind him up and let him go. There's a reason when we talk to our young pitchers, we say, 'Watch what he does.' He does everything with precision."  

    "Corey's approach shows with the rest of our staff every day," catcher Yan Gomes said. "They follow the way he goes about it. He wasn't the guy who was brought in to be the ace. He earned it and people saw that. It motivates everyone else. They know what can happen with dedication."  

    "Sometimes it's human nature if you're warming up and playing catch that you kind of just go through the motions, but he has an intent with every pitch, every throw," Francona said. "And that's the way he makes his living. So it does carry over, and whether it's PFP [pitchers' fielding practice] or whatever he does, he does it the way you're supposed to. Its part of the reason he's so good. He does it to a really extremely high level. You couple his talent with that ability to consistently do things, it does make you pretty special."  (Ringolsby - MLB.com - 3/14/16)

  • Corey does not have to say much. As far as the Indians are concerned, the way their stoic starter goes about his daily work behind the scenes, and then how he attacks hitters on the mound, is leadership enough for the rest of the pitchers.

    Kluber does not need to give a of speech to rally his team for the long season 2016 ahead. His preparation and performance will set the tone.  There is no one that Chris Antonetti, the Indians' president of baseball operations, would rather see take the ball to start the season.  

    "It's a great thing organizationally," Antonetti said, "when you can point to your best pitcher and say, 'If you want to be like him, go do things the same way he does. You want to win a Cy Young? Go follow what Klubes does. Watch his routines. Watch the way he prepares for a start. Watch how diligent he is in the training room and in the weight room.' It's a pretty powerful message."

    When Cleveland acquired him from the Padres in a three-team deal at the 2010 Trade Deadline, there was a collective yawn. A year later, Kluber began overhauling his pitching style, focusing more on a two-seam fastball and adding a cutter to go with his other offerings.

    "The way you saw Corey kind of evolve into the guy he is now is not by coincidence," said fellow Tribe starter Josh Tomlin. "That guy puts his head down and goes to work every day. That's somebody we all need to look at, no matter if you're a position player, pitcher or bullpen guy. Whoever you are."  

    Hints of Kluber's potential were there down the stretch in '13, but everyone took notice in the following season. The right-hander developed one of baseball's best curveballs and, combined with his sinker and cutter, featured a combination of pitchers that baffled batters. The strikeouts came in bunches and the wins followed in '14, culminating in one of the more surprising Cy Young victories in recent memory.

    "That's the biggest key to our success," Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said of Kluber's emergence. "If you go back and look, once Kluber became the main leader, everything changed. He's one of the biggest reasons why you start thinking of the Cleveland Indians, you think about pitching. That probably has more to do with Corey Kluber than anything."  (Bastian - MLB.com - 4/4/16)

  • June 19, 2016: Each offseason as the holidays approach, Corey Kluber starts his throwing program in preparation for the season ahead. As he has done since Corey was a kid, Kluber's father, Jim, grabs his glove and offers to play catch with his son to help. Those rounds of catch have become a little more painful over the years.

    "The ball just smacks into the glove so hard," Jim said. "And he's not even trying to throw hard. It just has so much behind it, effortlessly. You look at your hand afterwards, and it's red."

    Jim speaks with pride when discussing what Corey has become for the Indians. And he gets a kick out of the fact his son's success has come with Cleveland, the team Jim pulled for during his childhood on the east side of the city. The elder Kluber began following the Tribe in 1959—you can still hear the pain in his voice when he mentions how the White Sox edged the Indians for a spot in the World Series that fall. Jim brings up Rocky Colavito, Sonny Siebert, Fred Whitfield and Max Alvis. He speaks of how Bob Feller was a local celebrity in Gates Mills, Ohio, two towns over from where Jim grew up in Highland Heights.

    All of that made the phone call from Corey in 2010 so special. Both of Corey's parents answered, but Jim told his son he would catch up with him after he spoke with his mom. Corey insisted his dad stay on the line. Corey had been traded to the Indians by the Padres.

    "It had a lot more significance to him that it was the Indians," Corey said. "To me, at the time, it was just another one of 30 teams. I didn't have any connection to the Indians, but for him, it was the team that he always grew up watching and rooted for." Jim, who now lives in Cape Cod, was stunned with joy. "I literally could not believe it," he said. "I probably screamed or something like that, because I've always been an Indians fan. Our family, my family, we've always been baseball people. Especially for me, for him to go to Cleveland was like a dream come true."

    In the years since, Corey has won the American League Cy Young Award in 2014, and tied the Tribe's nine-inning franchise record with 18 strikeouts in a game in 2015. Corey shares that record with Feller, and his name is alongside other franchise greats—names like Sam McDowell, Herb Score and Luis Tiant—for numerous achievements.It is all a bit surreal for his father.

    "Corey has said it, that it's an honor to be just mentioned along with them," Jim said. "I feel the same way."

    Jim is just as proud of what his son has become away from the field.Indians fans are used to seeing the stoic pitcher—one who shows no emotions on the days he starts. Jim said that not only comes from his own personality, but from a youth coach who emphasized being emotionless on the field. In fact, Jim said Corey is a "jokester" with a great sense of humor.  (J Bastian - June 19, 2016)

  • Corey and his wife, Amanda, have 4-year-old Kendall, 2-year-old Kennedy, and another child due in early December. "I'm definitely outnumbered," Corey said with a smile, a smile his fans don't typically see inside the ballpark. "If I have to do stupid things to make them laugh out in public, so be it. I didn't know how to put hair in a ponytail before I had daughters. Now, I can do it halfway decent."

    Good dads will do anything for their kids—that includes playing catch, even when it's painful. "It's probably not his favorite thing to do anymore," Corey quipped. 

    "He has great accomplishments as a baseball player," his dad, Jim, said, "But an even greater accomplishment is what he's done as a husband and father. He's got a great family. Two little girls that he's totally devoted to. That's really what, at the end of the day, means the most to him."

  • Feb 3, 2017: There is a quote painted on the wall at Cressey Sports Performance in big, bold red letters that no one can miss. It reads: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."

    Underneath it, on this overcast and frozen first day of February, Corey Kluber is putting in his work. There is no disputing the talent. The lanky Cleveland Indians right-hander -- who features a breaking ball so tricky no one knows if it's a curve or a slider, plus a two-seamer to make Greg Maddux drool -- won the 2014 American League Cy Young Award and won two games against the Cubs in the 2016 World Series.

    But there are no accolades without the everydays, and today, Kluber will put in a three-and-a-half-hour training session, which I had the opportunity to participate in. "Corey understands that what we do in the weight room is a means to an end," says Eric Cressey of Cressey Performance, who has been training Kluber in the offseason since 2010. "It's not just about lifting heavy weight or trying to impress people on social media or randomly putting a number out there that you want to hit."

    "Training with the weighted balls helps me build a solid base for my arm and shoulder strength, and it helps me to be ready and where I need to be when Spring Training comes around, so I'm not caught playing catchup," Kluber says. "The day after throwing for the first month of the offseason was always pretty tough, and I feel like my recovery from throwing is easier when I'm using the weighted balls as opposed to when I wasn't. They also keep me from getting too long with my arm action and help me to find my natural arm slot. The weighted balls just really help me to get ready for the year."

    Kluber warms up his shoulder with a 32-ounce ball. Then, he does walking windup drills with an 8-ounce ball before doing most of his throwing work -- 75 or so tosses -- with a standard 5-ounce ball. His throwing partner is Royals pitching prospect Luke Farrell, son of Red Sox manager John Farrell. Following that throwing session, Kluber goes back to the weighted balls for some more aggressive work with balls from 6 to 9 ounces, as well as an underweight 4-ounce ball.

    "Just because we're making some throws with an 8- or 9-ounce ball, you can't lose sight of the fact that Corey will be making the bulk of his throws with a standard 5-ounce ball," Cressey says. "The weighted balls get all the love because they're controversial, but in reality, we still throw the 5-ounce ball more than anything else." 

    Afterwards, Kluber continues his training session with a workout designed by Cressey to build general athleticism; the goal is to teach the body to move efficiently, build strength, then layer power on top of that before focusing on specific, baseball-related skills.

    "Every offseason, the No. 1 goal is to get things moving the way you want them to," Kluber says. "The wear and tear of the season takes its toll on your body and things get out of whack, so it's always the first goal to try to realign my body the way it's supposed to be. And once you have that, you can start working on strength and power."

    Once the season starts, Kluber's training volume will again drop. He typically lifts the day after a start and the day after his bullpen session, within the five-day rotation. That translates to two or three lifts per week, focusing on what Kluber calls the "money-maker" exercises: compound multijoint movements like trap-bar deadlifts and single-leg exercises such as weighted reverse lunges. The goal is to maintain the strength and power developed in the offseason, with an eye on the bigger goal: to win the World Series.

    "Last year was a great year," Kluber says. "We were a game away from doing that, and now we're hoping to finish it off. Last year gave us more confidence, but now we have a target on our backs, and I don't think that's something to run away from. I think it's something to embrace. We need to go out there and work just as hard as we did to get to that point last year." And for Kluber, that hard work started in November, here in the gym. (L Berra - MLB.com - Feb 3, 2017)

           TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2007: Corey signed with Padres' scout Joe Bochy after the team chose him in the fourth round, out of Stetson University in Florida. His bonus was $200,000.
  • July 31, 2010: The Indians acquired Kluber from the Padres in the three-team trade deadline deal in which RHP Jake Westbrook went to the Cardinals. St. Louis sent OF Ryan Ludwick to San Diego for LHP Nick Greenwood.
  • March 11, 2015: Kluber and the Tribe agreed on a one-year deal.

    April 4, 2015: Cleveland reached an agreement on a five-year contract with Kluber that is worth $38.5 million.  (J. Bastian - MLB.com - April 4, 2015)

Pitching
  • Kluber has a lively 88-95 mph FASTBALL, a very good 84-86 mph SLIDER (his best pitch) with good depth, a fair CURVEBALL, and a decent CHANGEUP with some sink and fade.

    He gets in trouble when his fastball flattens out, which happens more than it should for a pitcher his size. Really, it all comes down to command of his fastball.

    "Kluber's slider might be the best breaking pitch in the game, right now," Billy Ripken said on MLB Tonight. (May 15, 2015)

  • 2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 15.3% of the time; Sinker 35.8% of the time; Change 4.5%; Slider 20.7%; Cutter 23.7% of the time.

  • Corey lacks a true put-away pitch. But he pounds the strike zone with all of his stuff. He knows how to attack hitters and reads swings well. He has a good feel for pitching.
  • Kluber maintains his velocity into the late innings and has a smooth, clean repeatable arm motion. He has a short-arm delivery.
  • June 10, 2013: Tribe manager Terry Francona has been impressed with Kluber's growth. "He's getting better right in front of our eyes," Francona said. "He's pitching in with his fastball so aggressively, and it's opening up the whole plate. He had a minor knee surgery this winter, and he never said two words about it during the spring. But I don't think he was able to push off that leg a lot. To his credit, he never said a word.

    "You can see now, obviously, he feels better physically and I think he's starting to understand it." 

  • June 12, 2013: Kluber has shown the potential to become a strikeout artist for the Indians, but he altered his style midway through the 2013 season. After posting impressive strikeout totals in recent starts, Kluber took advantage of an aggressive lineup, using his slider and cutter to induce a wave of ground-ball outs. The righthander ended with only three strikeouts in his eight innings, but induced 14 outs on the ground.

    Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said Kluber picked up on his opponents' approach and exploited it. "I thought it was more their game plan against him," Callaway said. "I'm sure they looked and said, 'Hey, this guy has really good secondary stuff. Don't let him get ahead of you, because he's going to wipe you out.' But he continued to pound the zone and he didn't try to do too much.

    "When they're giving you outs early in the count, you take them. He knows that. I think all the pitchers know that, and he did a great job of making pitches early and letting them try to do too much with them."

    Callaway said Kluber has continued to show improvement in making adjustments on the fly. "Definitely," said the pitching coach. "He's been so good at recognizing when he needs to adjust and what his game plan is, and sticking with a game plan and knowing what people are trying to do against him. He's very prepared and likes information."

  • May 4, 2014: Kluber fanned seven straight White Sox hitters, setting a new Indians record for consecutive strikeouts. He struck out the first six swinging.

  • July 24, 2014: Over the past 100 seasons, only four pitchers have had a no-decision with at least nine innings logged, at least 10 strikeouts, no walks and no more than two hits allowed. That list includes Kluber, Harvey (May 7, 2013), Seattle's Erik Hanson (Aug. 1, 1990), and the Dodgers' Bill Singer (June 4, 1969).

    Kluber became the only Indians pitcher in the past 100 seasons to have at least five starts in one season with at least 10 strikeouts and no more than one walk issued. The previous mark, four, was set by Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley in 1976.

  • September 17, 2014: Kluber baffled the Astros with 14 whiffs setting a new career high. It was his 10th game with 10 or more strikeouts, which is the first time that has happened for an Indians pitcher since 1970.

  • September 27, 2014: Yan Gomes had the best possible view of Kluber's incredible season for the Indians. From behind the plate, the young catcher helped guide the pitcher through brilliant outings and got to experience a firsthand look at an emerging ace.

    "He made it pretty easy," Gomes said. "You see the hard work he puts in and how focused he is coming into a start. We have a pretty good game plan going in every day and it just shows how good of a communication level we had this year.

    "What we took a lot of pride in this year was the adjustments we made, quick adjustments, throughout the games."

    Kluber is quick to praise Gomes for those in-game tweaks.

    "I think Yan's by far the best catcher in the league," Kluber said. "I don't think you can really put an amount on how much he helps us out as a staff, especially for it being his first full year back there. He's been back there almost every day. I think he does a lot more than he gets credit for back there."

    Gomes rolls his eyes when told of such compliments.

    "If people try to give any type of credit to me," Gomes said with a pause. "I just think it's all him and all his work he put into it." (Jordan Bastian - MLB.com - 9/27/2014)

  • In 2014, Kluber's 18 wins was the most by an Indians pitcher since Cliff Lee went 22-3 during his 2008 AL Cy Young campaign. Kluber is the fourth different AL pitcher over the last 20 years to reach the 18-win, 260-strikeout plateau with an ERA no higher than 2.50.

    CY YOUNG WINNER

  • In 2014, Kluber won the American League Cy Young Award, his second full year as a starter. He went 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts in 236 innings. He led the league in wins, finished second in strikeouts, third in innings pitched, and was third in ERA.

    Kluber received 17 first place votes and 169 points, narrowly edging out King Felix Hernandez of the M's, who earned the other 13 first-place votes and 159 points. White Sox LHPChris Sale finished third with 78 points.

  • In 2014, the 28-year-old Kluber was dominant down the stretch with the Indians (85-77), who fell just short of a postseason berth despite posting a winning record for the second straight year. He posted a 1.73 ERA after the All-Star break and won his last five starts, recording 54 strikeouts and a 1.12 ERA over that stretch.

    Kluber became the fourth Indians pitcher to win the award, joiningCliff Lee (2008),C.C. Sabathia (2007), and Gaylord Perry.

    When asked how he would celebrate the award, Kluber revealed plans far from flashy.

    "Probably go home and give my daughters a bath," he said.

  • Way back, during the 2011 season, rain washed away one of Columbus's games and forced Kluber to throw indoors. Ruben Niebla, who was the Triple-A pitching coach that year, suggested that the pitcher try out a two-seam sinker during the workout. Willing to try anything at that point, Kluber began working more on the pitch and quickly found a comfort level with the grip.

    Over the course of the next three years, Kluber reduced the volume of four-seamers and began featuring a two-seam sinker as his primary fastball. Combined with a devastating curveball and deceptive cutter, the righthander now had three tiers of pitch velocity and increased command—along with a four-seamer, slider, and changeup—in his back pocket.

  • "I've tried to keep things as similar as possible to my 2014 season. I had a pretty good routine that put me in a great spot. My goal is to be cognizant of how much I threw in 2014, but not try to reinvent the wheel," Kluber said. "I think what I've done in the past puts me in a good position.

    "I didn't necessarily go into the offseason trying to make specific improvements; I just want to become a better pitcher. I want to be able to adjust better to hitters, just as they do to me."

    Not to say there aren't expectations surrounding Kluber's meteoric rise in 2014. "I don't really set individual goals for myself. It is more a matter of trying to focus on the process and get better each day and [staying] consistent. I try not to focus on things out of my control," Kluber said.  (Zahneis - mlb.com - 3/23/15)

  • Spring 2015: "Klubot" takes his Opening Day assignment in stride. At this time two years ago, Corey Kluber was packing his bags for Columbus. He was not deemed ready to join Cleveland's Opening Day rotation, so the pitcher headed back to Triple-A, waiting and hoping for another opportunity to arise.

    "All along, we thought this kid could be a starter for us," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I don't know if anybody knew where it would go."

    When Kluber got another chance, he took full advantage, providing baseball with a remarkable story of a player pitching his way from obscurity to prominence.

    Kluber will be on the mound at Minute Maid Park to take on the Astros in the first Opening Day start of his career. Not only did he grab hold of a regular starting job with the Tribe two years ago, Kluber developed into a workhorse for Cleveland's staff and blossomed into the Cy Young winner last season.

    Asked about Kluber's rapid ascension to becoming a Major League ace, Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti cracks a smile.

    "It's been really fun to watch," Antonetti said. "More than anything, it's been great to watch the way Klubes has gone about it. His success is not accidental. He didn't just turn into a Cy Young Award winner. He puts in the work every single day—whether it's during the offseason or during the regular season—to be the best he can be. He's constantly looking to improve."

    Kluber's seemingly unflappable demeanor, are what have earned him the nickname "Klubot" over the past few years. He is the same on the mound, almost expressionless in both good and bad moments.

    Francona said Kluber's personality is another advantage on the mound.

    "It's a very good trait," Francona said. "When other guys in the other dugout don't know if you're happy, sad, feeling good, feeling bad, that's really good. Because a lot of times, by your body language, you give the other team a little bit more motivation or more confidence by how you're carrying yourself." (J Bastian - MLB.com - April 3, 2015)

  • On May 13, 2015, Kluber recorded a career-high 18 strikeouts in a 2-0 victory over the Cardinals. In eight innings, the reigning A.L. Cy Young Award winner allowed just one hit and issued no walks. Here is a glance at the historical perspective of Kluber's night:

    • This marks the 30th time since at least 1914 that a pitcher recorded at least 18 strikeouts in a game, but only the 22nd time (15 pitchers) in a nine-inning contest. The previous pitcher to fan 18-plus in a game was Ben Sheets on May 16, 2004, for Milwaukee.

    • Kluber's 18 strikeouts equal Hall-of-Famer Bob Feller's franchise mark for a nine-inning game (Oct. 2, 1938). The overall single-game record is held by Luis Tiant, who struck out 19 in a 10-inning performance on July 3, 1968.

    • This marks only the second time since at least 1914 that a pitcher recorded at least 18 strikeouts in no more than eight innings. The only other pitcher to achieve that feat was soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson for Seattle on Sept. 27, 1992.

    • Kluber joined Roger Clemens (three times), Johnson (twice), Kerry Wood (once) and Tiant (once) as the only pitchers since at least 1914 to have at least 18 strikeouts and no walks in an outing. Johnson was the last to accomplish it on May 8, 2001.

    • Kluber joined Wood (May 6, 1998) as the only pitchers since at least 1914 to have 18-plus strikeouts, one or no hits and no walks allowed in an outing. Wood did so against the Astros in his 20-strikeout, one-hit gem for the Cubs in 1998.

    • Kluber and Wood (May 6, 1998) are also the only pitchers since at least 1914 with at least 18 strikeouts and one or no hits allowed in a start.

    • Kluber's performance marked the first time since at least 1914 that a Major League pitcher had 18-plus strikeouts, one or no hits allowed and no walks in no more than eight innings.

    • Kluber's Game Score of 98 represents the highest in a Major League outing consisting of no more than eight innings since at least 1914. It also equals the best Game Score in a nine-inning game in team history (Len Barker on May 15, 1981, and Dennis Eckersley on May 30, 1977).

    • Kluber's 18 strikeouts were the most all-time by one pitcher against the Cardinals. The previous record of 17 was held by Brooklyn's Dazzy Vance, who achieved that mark against St. Louis on July 20, 1925.

  • Kluber started the 2017 season with a career record of 58-44 and a 3.33 ERA, having allowed 82 home runs and 801 hits, while striking out 936 in 887 innings.

Career Injury Report
  • High school: Corey had a stress fracture in his throwing arm, which required surgery. And he still has a screw in his arm.
  • November 30, 2012: Kluber underwent a procedure to remove torn meniscus from his right knee at the Cleveland Clinic. The knee locked up on Kluber while he was changing his daughter's diaper (see above).
  • August 6-September 7, 2013: Corey was on the D.L. with a sprained middle finger on his right hand.
  • May 3-June 1, 2017: Kluber was on the DL with lower back strain.