“If I Were the Manager…” About Corey Kluber


Prior to last night’s edition of the 2016 World Series, Terry Francona announced that Corey Kluber will start Game 4 on just three days rest. The Indians ran nearly the same plan in the ALCS, starting their ace in Games 1 and 4 against the Blue Jays, but Kluber was not nearly as effective in his second start.

In Game 4 of the ALCS, Kluber went just five innings, surrendering two runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. This is compared to him going six and a third innings and allowing zero runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts in Game 1 of the series. While Kluber had more strikeouts and fewer hits allowed in the second start, he couldn’t last as long and was much less effective with men on base.

The argument can be made that Cleveland’s bullpen is one of the best in the majors, which would be true, but its recent overuse, which is explained to a degree in my previous “If I Were the Manager” story here, has been rampant. Francona chose to not use his star relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, a tip I’m sure he took from me, but instead threw out all of his other relief pitchers at the Cubs in a 5-1 loss that sends the series back to Chicago tied at one win apiece.

With such a small margin of error on baseball’s biggest stage, the Indians cannot afford to pitch anything less than their best, and that includes resting their best pitcher for a meaningful Game 5 before the two teams return to Cleveland for the final games of the series.

If I were the manager, Corey Kluber would not start again until Game 5, and I would use Ryan Merritt or Danny Salazar to make a spot start in Game 4.


Think you know more than Joe Maddon and Terry Francona? Keep up with our “If I Were the Manager” series, in which writer Jacob Lintner provides his view on a key point in each game of the 2016 World Series, and let Jacob know how you feel about his suggestions on Twitter @FHNtoday or @TheJacobLintner.