Red Sox sending struggling Corey Kluber to the bullpen
BOSTON -- In a surprising -- but not very surprising -- move, the Red Sox have sent veteran starter Corey Kluber to the bullpen. Boston manager Alex Cora made the announcement during his appearance on WEEI Wednesday afternoon.
With Garrett Whitlock set to come off the injured list this weekend, the Red Sox opted to send Kluber to the bullpen. The former two-time Cy Young winner has struggled to start his Red Sox career, with the 37-year-old sporting a 2-6 record and a 6.26 ERA over his first nine starts of the season.
In his last time out, Kluber lasted just 2.1 innings and surrendered five runs (only one earned) in a 7-0 loss to the San Diego Padres. Most of those runs were unearned because Kluber was tagged with a fielding error in San Diego's four-run first inning.
Outside of a relief appearance for the Rays in last October's Wild Card game, it has been a while since Kluber came out of the bullpen. He's been a full-time starter since the 2013 season, and Kluber only has 9.1 innings as a reliever under his belt. He had a 4.82 ERA in those relief appearances, but since they came nearly a decade ago, there isn't much to take from them.
Still, given what Kluber has looked like this season, it's easy to wonder if he'll give the Red Sox anything out of the pen. He is the second starter to make their way to the bullpen in the last week, joining the recently demoted Nick Pivetta in Boston's relief corps.
With Kluber being sent to the bullpen, Cora announced that Tanner Houck (3-3, 4.99 ERA) will remain in the Boston rotation.
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