Andrew Miller: Cleveland Indians' Corey Kluber deserving of All-Star selection
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians will be well represented at the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
In addition to the coaching staff, the Indians will have five players on the American League All-Star roster, led by starting third baseman Jose Ramirez, shortstop Francisco Lindor, outfielder Michael Brantley, relief pitcher Andrew Miller and starter Corey Kluber.
And according to Miller, despite missing a month of action, Kluber deserved his second straight All-Star selection.
“If you watch the load he’s carried for us and what he’s done since he’s come back from his back injury, it’s kind of a no-brainer,” Miller said.
“He’s been really, really good, as good as they get. I’m glad he’s on our team. I think he’s an absolutely deserving guy, and I’m happy for him. He was the winning pitcher in the All-Star Game last year, so you’ve got to bring him back this year, right?”
Since returning from the disabled list after a month of dealing with back issues, Kluber has regained the type of form that made him an American League Cy Young Award finalist last year and an All-Star this season.
In a tough-luck 1-0 loss to the San Diego Padres at Progressive Field Tuesday night, Kluber struck out 10 hitters, and in doing so, set a new Indians club record for the most consecutive 10-plus strikeout performances (five).
In his last outing ahead of the July 4 loss, Kluber finished off a strong performance throughout the month of June with a 12-strikeout showing over eight innings of work in a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field last Thursday.
The win was Kluber’s fourth in the month of June and marked the sixth straight game in which he went at least six innings. In Kluber’s 13 starts this season, only once has he failed to make it through the sixth inning.
In his career, Kluber has 31 10-plus strikeout games, including the five straight, which broke the club record set by Hall of Famer Bob Feller during the 1938 and 1939 seasons.
In his 31 10-plus strikeout performances, Kluber is 18-1 with an earned run average under 1.50.
On the season, Kluber has struck out 115 hitters against just 21 walks with 65 hits and 28 earned runs allowed over 88.1 innings of work. Despite missing several starts because of the back issues, Kluber has a 7-3 record and 2.85 ERA, the best of any Indians starting pitcher.
“It’s an honor,” said Kluber, the first Indians pitcher since Early Wynn (1955-1957) to earn consecutive All-Star appearances.
“Just like I’m sure the rest of the guys said, I’m looking forward to it, and I think it will be cool to go down there with four other guys and get to represent to the Indians, take in the couple days, and hopefully, have a lot of fun.”