RP - CHC
Cubs manager David Ross said RHP Craig Kimbrel is “going to be our closer.”
“Craig’s going to be our closer,” said Ross. Despite his struggles with the Cubs, he is expected to open up the season as the team’s closer. “But I do think there are a lot of guys in that bullpen that are going to help our success,” Ross added. The 32-year-old converted 2-of-3 save opportunities while posting a 5.28 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and a 28:12 K:BB across 15 1/3 innings. Kimbrel is currently 20th among all relief pitchers in the latest expert consensus draft rankings.
Craig Kimbrel pitched the eighth inning of Saturday's game against the White Sox, not allowing a base runner and striking out two. The Cubs lost, 9-5.
Kimbrel appears to be all the way back from his struggles earlier this year. Assuming he doesn't pitch Sunday, he finished 2020 with a 5.28 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, two saves, and 28 strikeouts in 15 and 1/3 innings.
Craig Kimbrel relieved Kyle Hendricks in the eighth inning on Wednesday against the Pirates, getting a single out. The Cubs lost, 2-1.
Kimbrel continues to steady himself after a miserable start to 2020. His full year ratios are still ugly (5.65 ERA, 1.53 WHIP), but his 26 strikeouts in just 14 and 1/3 innings give him some promise heading into 2021.
Craig Kimbrel pitched the eighth inning of Wednesday's ballgame against the Indians, striking out two. The Cubs won 3-2 in extra innings.
Kimbrel has done well in his last seven outings, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 13 strikeouts in just 6 and 2/3 innings. He pitched in front of Jeremy Jeffress on Wednesday, so it looks like he would have the upper hand over Rowan Wick if Jeffress were to falter or get injured down the stretch.
Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth inning of Saturday's game against the Brewers with a two-run lead. Of course, it was a bit of a shaky outing. He allowed two consecutive singles before getting Daniel Vogelbach to strike out swinging, followed by a fielder's choice and a game-ending lineout.
Kimbrel got the save chance because Jeremy Jeffress and Rowan Wick had pitched on back-to-back days, so don't go scoop Kimbrel off the waiver wire just yet. Kimbrel now has a 6.23 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, and 24 strikeouts in 13 innings.