Kluber to toe rubber in Game 2 of ALDS

Tribe starter will log 2 bullpen sessions in preparation

Kluber to toe rubber in Game 2 of ALDS

KANSAS CITY -- Corey Kluber wanted to take the ball in the Indians' first postseason game, but manager Terry Francona went in a different direction after considering a variety of factors.

Trevor Bauer will start Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Red Sox on Thursday, and Kluber will take the ball in Game 2 on Friday. Francona noted that Kluber is scheduled to throw a bullpen session prior to Sunday's game in Kansas City, marking the ace's first time on a mound since he sustained a mild quadriceps strain on Monday in Detroit.

"He's doing well," Francona said on Saturday. "He went out and did some running and some agility stuff today. He's doing better."

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Bauer, who worked six innings on Saturday in a 6-3 victory over the Royals, is lined up to start Game 1 on normal rest, and the Indians are confident he could return for a potential ALDS Game 4 on Oct. 10, on three days' rest if necessary. Kluber could be available on normal rest for a Game 5. Josh Tomlin will start Game 3 on Oct. 9.

"I know it's the right thing for everybody," Francona said. "I didn't think it was fair to Kluber to have him sit for 10 days and then pitch two games in four days. He certainly wanted to. And it's not just me. Kind of talking to everybody, I kind of took it out of his hands. So now he can prepare for Game 2, and he doesn't have the anxiety of worrying about rushing."

Francona said Kluber will log a second bullpen session on Tuesday.

Cleveland is also monitoring the progress of right-hander Danny Salazar, who is attempting to return as a reliever in time for the ALDS after a right forearm injury. Salazar logged a bullpen session on Friday and is tentatively scheduled to pitch in a simulated game on Monday.

"We're still trying to work through when the next step is," Francona said of Salazar. "Obviously, there's a lot of balls in the air with maybe a game on Monday, maybe not. I think we're ready for pretty much everything. He needs to have the simulated [outing] first."

If Cleveland is still in the hunt for home-field advantage in its ALDS pairing with Boston, or if Detroit is still in the mix for an AL Wild Card spot, the Tribe will head to Detroit on Monday to play the makeup of Thursday's postponed game.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.