Corey Kluber downplays Michael King’s credit for reinvented slider: ‘His pitch’

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Corey Kluber knows Michael King has credited him with helping King reinvent himself by refining a pitch the right-hander calls the “Kluberball,” but Kluber brushed aside much of King’s praise. 

“He’s probably giving me more credit than I deserve,” said Kluber, who pitched for the Yankees in an injury-plagued 2021 season before signing with the Rays this past offseason. 

“He’s the one that had to put in the work and figure stuff out.” 

King traced the pitch back to a bullpen session last May, right around the time Kluber threw his no-hitter against the Rangers. 

“I threw four terrible sliders in a row, and he said, ‘Why don’t you try it this way and see if it works?’ ” King said recently. “He gave me the grip and a couple pointers about how to throw it. The first one I threw was good. It felt good, and TrackMan [a tool for tracking and analyzing the ball’s movement] showed it was a good pitch. He said, ‘Keep ripping that.’ ” 

Corey Kluber, Michael KingAP, Robert Sabo

Kluber said he remembered the session. 

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“I don’t think it was more than a conversation, but I’m glad we had it and it helped him with his confidence,’’ Kluber said. 

Kluber added he believed it was their talk about believing in the pitch that…

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