Texas Rangers prized offseason acquisition Corey Kluber sustained a Grade 2 tear of the teres major muscle in his right shoulder during the first inning of his season debut.
Kluber was removed from his start on Sunday versus Colorado after only one inning while experiencing tightness behind his right shoulder. He was then examined by Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister and subsequently underwent an MRI on Sunday evening. No surgery is required and Kluber will have platelet-rich plasma therapy later this week.
“It’s a blow, there is no getting around it," said Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels. "It felt like he was in a really good spot, had no physical issues at all. In talking to him today, he feels better than he has in years physically. There was no indication that this was coming. He was throwing the ball really well. We felt really good about him in the rotation. Injuries are what they are. We have a lot of faith in our other guys."
Kluber will be shut down from throwing for a minimum of four weeks. He will be placed on the injured list and the Rangers will make a corresponding roster move to replace him on the 30-man active roster. For the time being, Kolby Allard will get the first opportunity to replace Kluber in the Texas rotation.
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"In most other circumstances, I think we would have penciled Kolby Allard into our rotation and been good with that," Daniels said. "Would it surprise me if he rattles off 2 1/2 months of really good work? Not at all.
"It's not fair to ask anybody to be Corey Kluber, but could he give you the kind of performance for 2 1/2 months that Corey would? I think he can. We have all been impressed, including our veteran pitchers, with Kolby's work."
Before the Rangers acquired Kluber from Cleveland, he was one of the more dominant pitchers in the game. Between 2014-2018, Kluber finished in the top-three in the American League Cy Young voting and won the award in 2014 and 2017.