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Motivation won’t be an issue this season for Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber. After falling to the Chicago Cubs in seven games in an intensely fought World Series, Kluber and his teammates are more determined than ever to end the Indians’ 69-year championship drought.
But his motivation doesn’t end there. Kluber will also be a part of Carthartt’s “Strikeout for Vets” campaign this season, which means every strikeout he records will result in a $100 donation to Helmets to Hardhats.
Kluber won’t be alone. Carthartt has selected an entire starting rotation of pitchers whose strikeouts will benefit the Strikeouts for Vets campaign. He’ll be joined by an All-Star class that includes Chris Sale, Jacob deGrom, Felix Hernandez and Michael Fulmer. As an added bonus, if those five pitchers combine for more strikeouts than any other rotation in MLB, an additional $25,000 will be donated.
No pressure or anything.
Combined, the Carhartt starting rotation has registered 5,068 career strikeouts, 327 wins, 13 All-Star game appearances, two Cy Young awards, and two Rookie of the Year awards. Kluber may be the rotation’s ace though. Over the past three seasons, he’s racked up 741 strikeouts on his own. He also set a record when he struck out eight batters in the first three innings of a World Series game.
Kluber can stack strikeouts in a hurry, and he tells Yahoo Sports he’s confident the Indians will stack victories as well with the addition of Edwin Encarnacion this winter, in addition to improved health up and down the roster.
“That’s (health) obviously a key for us, as with any team,” the 2014 American League Cy Young winner said. “We feel like when we are healthy, we have one of the better rotations in baseball, and we’ve proven that over the last couple years.”
The oddsmakers have the Red Sox as favorites to reach the World Series, but the Indians are a difficult team to bet against based on talent alone. When you factor in determination, it’s going to be a fight for any team that hopes to knock the Indians off their pedestal.
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