Yankees' Corey Kluber wants to 'fine-tune' his location following start against Pirates

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Corey Hersch
·2 min read
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Yankees Corey Kluber throws pitch at spring training
Yankees Corey Kluber throws pitch at spring training

After allowing two runs on four hits in his four-inning outing against the Pirates on Saturday, the one thing Corey Kluber wanted to work on was his location, both in and out of the strike zone.

Kluber hit two batters and allowed a home run to Troy Stokes Jr. on a pitch that came in right over the heart of the plate.

“I'm happy with the way I felt physically, happy with where the stuff was at,” Kluber said. “Maybe some pitches I could have located better and been a little sharper. The home run was a first pitch that I left too much over the plate. I hit a couple of guys. I was trying to get it in there, obviously I wasn't trying to hit him. So we're just fine-tuning that sort of stuff.”

Kluber was staked to an early 4-0 lead after an Aaron Hicks RBI double in the first inning and a three-run homer by DJ Lemahieu. Having that lineup behind him makes his life that much easier, but should be giving opposing pitchers fits all season.

“Every major league lineup is good 1-through-9, but this is a different level what we can run out on a regular basis,” Kluber said. “You don't have a chance to breathe as a pitcher pitching against them. You can't take a pitch off, you can't let your guard down. Every single hitter in that lineup can do a lot of damage.”

The soon-to-be 35-year-old threw two scoreless innings on Mar. 3, and said he’s felt good after every throwing session this spring, whether it’s been a bullpen, live batting practice or game.

“Knock on wood, everything's been good so far, Kluber said. “I think that coming into the spring, just because of the timing of my throwing program, I was probably a little further ahead of where I normally am. My guess is that maybe because of that, I'm bouncing back better than I typically do. But so far it's all been good and I'm hoping it stays that way.”

The Yankees are certainly hoping that, too, as a productive Kluber is about as strong of a depth starting pitcher as a team could have.