Cleveland pitcher Kluber to replace Toronto righty Estrada at all-star game

by Alfonso Matthews Julio 11, 2016, 7:47
Cleveland pitcher Kluber to replace Toronto righty Estrada at all-star game

He was claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers in February, but has yet to pitch this season as he deals with elbow troubles.

"My worst nightmare came true, unfortunately", Estrada said Wednesday. "I think they're young and they're going to get better".

Estrada has struggled with a sore back all season that was re-aggravated by taking batting practice ahead of games in Philadelphia and Colorado, both National League ballparks. He had a cortisone injection in spring training and then again on Monday. The 30-year-old right-hander has an 8-8 record with a 3.79 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 114 innings.

Kluber captured the AL Cy Young Award in 2014, when he went 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA, with 269 strikeouts in 235 2/3 innings.

It appears that will be the case, with Estrada not likely to return prior to Toronto's first homestand after the break, beginning July 22 against the Mariners.

Sanchez could still be selected if another AL pitcher needs to be replaced.

Kluber's All-Star debut will come at the home stadium (Petco Park) of the team that selected him in the fourth round of the 2007 draft - San Diego.

"I'll be there supporting the guys and I'll just enjoy every minute of it".

Toronto manager John Gibbons said the move - retroactive to July 3 - was necessary with the Blue Jays in the midst of a pennant race in the American League East.

"We just thought it was best", Gibbons said.

During his last start, we watch Marco Estrada gut out a 5 inning performance while dealing with extreme pain in his lower back. It was taken out of my hands. But obviously it's not up to me. "We'll see what happens".

Kansas City manager Ned Yost, who is managing the AL all-star team, made the announcement Tuesday. The Blue Jays have seen their share of injuries to core players like Jose Bautista, Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis, but the rotation has remained in tact. Each one of them are deserving of the accolades that goes with being an all-star.

Regardless, the Blue Jays are benefiting from the health of their rotation.

Saunders was leading the voting after Day 1 after racking up 4.8 million votes. The winner will be announced Friday. Perhaps, it would behoove a team to focus more on health than spending a ton of money on those top tier starters.

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