Last week, Corey Kluber said he could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
But first, he'll make a pit stop in Akron.
Five days after making his first rehab start with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, the Cleveland Indians pitcher will toe the rubber at Canal Park when he makes another start for the Akron RubberDucks. The 2-time American League Cy Young Award winner will likely throw around 65 pitches for the RubberDucks, who are facing the New York Yankees' Class-AA affiliate Trenton Thunder on Tuesday.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
In his start with Columbus last week, Kluber threw 41 pitches over the course of three innings, surrendering 2 hits, both of which were solo home runs, which accounted for the only two runs against him on the day. The 33-year-old Kluber also recorded two strikeouts in what marked his significant action since suffering a fractured right forearm after being hit by a Brian Anderson line drive while facing the Miami Marlins on May 1.
"There's a progression you have to go through when you've been down for a while and this is another step in that progression," Kluber said. "But it's also kind of the last step, so to speak. Playing in these games, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel."
While there's no firm timetable on a big-league return for Kluber, the end of August seems to be the most realistic timeframe for him to rejoin the Indians, who currently sit atop the American League Central. In 7 starts with Cleveland this season, the right-hander amassed a 2-3 record, in addition to a 5.80 ERA and 38 strikeouts.
"It’s fun to get out there and just compete regardless of whether it’s a rehab start or a real game," he said last week. "So hopefully I can continue to fine-tune things.”