Corey Kluber announced he will be having a bullpen session for perspective bidders. The Washington Nationals should tread lightly.
Okay, cheap shot there, my apologies.
All jokes aside though, if the Nationals are sending someone to watch Kluber throw, they better do their due diligence and not allow the front office to get in a bidding war.
Bullpen sessions are hard to gauge. Does a hitter even stand in the box? If so, he isn’t taking real swings. This is not even a simulated game. This is Corey Kluber taking 30 dry pitches off a pitching rubber. Are we checking medicals here? Or just making sure the guy can find the strike zone?
Forgive me if I am asking a lot of questions. I’ve seen this movie once before though. And it ended with a 22.74 ERA and an outright release.
Trevor Rosenthal was coming off of Tommy John surgery when he held a showcase for teams, where he reportedly touched triple digits on the radar gun. Was anybody tallying balls and strikes in this showcase?
The Nationals threw $7M at Rosenthal and he signed in the first three days of November. In the history of baseball transactions I’m not sure I’ve seen anybody sign with a new team that quickly.
Rosenthal faced 43 batters during the regular season. 23 reached base, 15 via the walk. 16 scored.
Here we are with Kluber coming off a forearm fracture and shoulder issues which has limited him to eight starts of the past two seasons. Prior to the injuries he was a force for the Cleveland Indians. The three time All-Star, two-time Cy Young winner, would be a great addition to the backend of the Nationals rotation. However, his 5.80 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in 2019 stick out like a sore thumb (or sore shoulder) on his recent resume.
At this point there are too many questions revolving around his health and his price tag (MLB Trade Rumors predicts 1 YR/$12M) for a 30-pitch bullpen session to answer.
A word of advice to the Nationals scout going to watch Kluber throw, it isn’t even buyer beware, it’s onlooker beware.