In spring 2013, a trip to the Arizona Backfields to scout top pitching prospects for the Seattle Mariners afforded a look at a group of Indians pitchers including Scott Kazmir (later signed as a free agent with the Athletics) and Corey Kluber. Kluber was an older pitcher who’d achieved mixed results across a dozen 2012 starts. Moving behind the plate for a closer look, his command of a 90 mph fastball was impressive. However, it took a few sliders for the scouts in the stands to perk up and pay attention. And while the sum of the parts was impressive (not best pitcher in the American League impressive, WOW!), watching Kluber come off the field and walk directly to his wife and young child waiting by the locker room was a highlight of the trip from a fellow father’s perspective.
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