Monday , December 5 2022
Craig Kimbrel Is Terrible Again

Craig Kimbrel Is Terrible Again

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In April, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Craig Kimbrel to help solidify the back end of their bullpen after long-time closer Kenley Jansen departed in the offseason. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Kimbrel has been flat-out terrible.

While Blake Treinen was the heir apparent at closer, he’s been dealing with a shoulder injury that has kept him out well into the season. He’s unlikely to be back before the All-Star break. Due to that, Kimbrel has been LA’s closer this season. He has struggled mightily.

On Sunday against the San Diego Padres, Kimbrel blew his third save in his last seven chances. He entered ninth inning with a 1-0 lead and promptly struck out Manny Machado. Then Kimbrel allowed a single to Jake Cronenworth that hit him square in the back, a double to Luke Voit that scored Cronenworth, and a single to Eric Hosmer that scored pinch runner C.J. Abrams. He was promptly pulled from the game with an apparent injury, likely from being nailed in the back by Cronenworth. Yency Almonte replaced him and surrendered a two-run home run to Ha-seong Kim. The Dodgers lost 4-2.

Kimbrel is currently 1-4 with a 4.78 ERA, a 1.52 WHIP, 28 hits and 12 walks allowed against 41 strikeouts in 26.1 innings. He has 14 saves in 17 opportunities. Those numbers are terrible.

Kimbrel struggled in 2019 and 2020 for the Chicago Cubs, posting ERAs of 6.53 and 5.28 respectively. He bounced back a bit in 2021 in a season split between the Cubs and Chicago White Sox. In 63 appearances he had a 2.26 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 59.2 innings. It looked like he had fixed whatever was wrong in that previous two-year stretch. Maybe not.

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