By Sheldon Ocker
Beacon Journal sports writer
MINNEAPOLIS: The message the morning after Corey Kluber left Saturday night’s game with a sore hip remained the same: Don’t worry about it.
The Indians’ right-hander is not expected to miss his next start Friday at Progressive Field against the Texas Rangers, but precautions will be taken.
“We’re going to try to keep everybody on their regular day,” pitching coach Mickey Callaway said Sunday. “It’s in his upper hamstring, sort of a pull.”
Kluber made a slight correction to that diagnosis.
“My hamstring was grabbing, but it was a result of the hip,” he said.
Manager Terry Francona opted to pull Kluber from the game after five innings, thinking that his command was affected by the injury. Kluber allowed only three hits and no runs.
Francona knew that Kluber was pitching with some pain, because between innings head trainer Lonnie Soloff would work on the hip. Nevertheless, Kluber tried to convince Francona to let him stay in the game.
“It’s still a little sore but not to the same extent it was last night,” Kluber said. “It’s something I could have pitched through.’’
Kluber said he first felt a twinge in his hip when he threw a pitch late in his previous start.
A contingency plan is in place just in case Kluber’s hip remains a problem.
“Today, he’ll have the day off,” Francona said. “He’ll work with Lonnie and settle in.”
Normally, Kluber would throw a bullpen on Tuesday. He might postpone that until Wednesday, only because Thursday’s off day gives him an extra day of rest.
“I’d rather throw the bullpen closer to when I’m supposed to start,” he said.
That off day also gives Francona the flexibility to delay Kluber’s start, if necessary.
Should the soreness in Kluber’s hip persist, Justin Masterson could make Kluber’s start on Friday with his full complement of rest. That also would keep Masterson on his regular schedule.
“I don’t think anybody anticipates that we’re going to do it,” Francona said. “But we have that if we need it because of the off day.”
Kluber has allowed only two runs in 19 innings over his past three starts, and he currently is riding a scoreless streak of 12⅔ innings.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.