Two of the American League's more reliable starters have landed on the disabled list, and at least one of them could miss a significant chunk of the season.
Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels (strained oblique) and Indians right-hander Corey Kluber (lower back tightness) were placed on the 10-day DL Wednesday by their teams.
Hamels' situation sounds more serious. He was scratched from his scheduled start against the Astros on Tuesday after feeling what he described as a "sharp pain on the side" on his second warmup pitch in the bullpen. An MRI Wednesday confirmed the oblique strain and the initial projection is he will miss about eight weeks.
While this is the fifth time Hamels has been on the DL in his 12-year big league career, he has made at least 30 starts every season since 2008. That streak will come to an end if the expected timeline holds up. The 33-year-old has a 3.03 ERA in five starts this season, though with only 15 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings, he is fanning batters at less than half his career rate.
Kluber, meanwhile, made his start against the Tigers on Tuesday but lasted only three innings before being removed because of tightness in his back. The 2014 AL Cy Young winner and manager Terry Francona acknowledged the issue has bothered Kluber "for a few starts now."
Kluber hasn't been particularly sharp in 2017, posting a 5.06 ERA in six starts. It doesn't sound like the Indians expect him to be out for an extended period, however.
"We think letting him miss a little bit of time is best thing for everybody," Francona told MLB Network Radio shortly before the team made the DL move official.