GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Questions have finally been answered. Corey Kluber will make his fifth straight opening day start for the Indians and Trevor Bauer is not happy about it.
Manager Terry Francona announced his start rotation after Bauer and the Indians beat Cincinnati, 8-5, Saturday in their final home ground of spring training. Bauer went 6 2/3 innings, knocked out seven and allowed four races, which did not indicate how he stood in the spring.
After leaving Bauer, he did not speak to journalists when he came to a van to take him back to the tribal training facility.
"Kluber must start the day," Francona said. "Trevor is going to go Game 2, Carlos Carrasco Game 3, Mike Clevinger and then Shane Bieber."
"We talked to Trev last week. We wanted to make sure that nothing happened in Club's start. Tell him being hit by a comebacker and he wasn't stretched out. We had talked to everyone before just to tell them. "
The Indians open Thursday's usual season against Twins at Target Field.
Bauer made six starts in the Cactus League, throwing 28 innings with 32 strikeouts and four walks. On the question of Bauer's spring, Francona said, "I think he's located to have a big year. He might be a little cranky today, but he's a good pitcher."
On the question of whether there was a debate between Kluber and Bauer, Francona said: "You know what I do not think we could have made the wrong decision.
" Therefore, Carl (Willis, pitching coach) spoke to them in the last week. We tried to be respectful. We believe it a lot. You can't tell five guys they have to be the opening day starts. We believe what Kluber has done during his career, he deserves it. "
Is there too much made of who a team names as opening day starts? Sure it is, it's a game out of 1
Kluber comes from a 20-winter season, winning two Cy Young awards, last year he finished third, Bauer believes he would have won Cy Young last year if he was not injured. There is nothing wrong with it.
When asked about the meaning of an opening day, started earlier in the week before Saturday's announcement, Kluber said: "The focus is not on getting ready for a start, my The focus is on getting me ready for 32, 33 or 34 starts and hopefully a handful after that (for the off-season). "
Still, Kluber feels like pulling the opening day just like any other player." "Opening day, whether it's for a rehab guy or a guy hoping to make the team is a ceremonial deadline, I think," said "But the focus is more on the season's long season."
"It's a fun day for everyone in the sense that the season starts. But I think everyone's focus is on the length of the season, not a single day. "
Kluber made his third and final Cactus League start Friday night in an 8-3 win over the split squad Chicago Cubs. He beat seven and allowed two races in 5 1/3 innings.
Carrasco, Clevinger and Kluber started their spring seasons throwing simulated games on backfields instead of Cactus League games against other big-league clubs. Kluber was happy with these results.
"The way we approached it had a few benefits," Kluber said. None. 1, the intensity controls a little. You can control the volume more at the beginning of the spring training in a controlled setting.
"I think at the same time as much as we say," it's spring training, we have to work on things and the results don't matter, "if you're out there getting hit, it's much harder to stick to that plan you want to work on that day, whether it's repeating your delivery or finding my fastball or this or that, it's much easier to skip ship if there is a scoreboard and fans and all sorts of things. advantage. "
Club's first two Cactus League did not start very well. In his second start, he threw three scoreless innings against Reds before allowing a grand slam to Yasiel Puig in the fourth inning.
"I know I gave some runs, but for where my stuff has been and how I feel about my delivery (everything) has been right," Kluber said. "The first three innings (in his second start against Reds) were as good as I have felt for a long time."
While Kluber started his spring crossing on the backfields, Bauer jumped straight into the Cactus League fray. Francona, early in the camp, said that Bauer would not have had it in any other way.
Who had the harder road to the opening day? It was clear that it was Bauer. Who has the two Cy Youngs and track record of five straight seasons with 200 plus innings with 200 plus strikeouts? It would be Kluber.
This opening day goes to Kluber. Will Bauer get it in 2020? Will he still be Indians in 2020? Who knows?
Yes, it's just a game. But it really is not.