Kimbrel was slated to do most of his spring training work toward the end of camp but will instead need to ramp up quickly whenever the regular season is able to begin, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
After Kimbrel missed all of last spring training, the Cubs' plan this year was to ease him into Cactus League play and then ramp their closer up over the final week or so of camp. The coronavirus pandemic abruptly changed those plans, meaning Kimbrel will have to hit the ground running whenever the season starts. The 31-year-old struggled out of the gates last year and never really got comfortable in Chicago, and he wasn't off to a great start this spring either with a 10.13 ERA, albeit in just 2.2 innings of work. Fantasy owners would have preferred to see Kimbrel find some success before the regular season started, but they'll instead have to trust that he can find the form that made him a dominant reliever over the previous eight years.
Kimbrel allowed two runs on three hits while retiring just two batters in Sunday's Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks.
The positive here is that Kimbrel recorded both of his outs via strikeout, but it's hard to be encouraged by how the veteran closer has looked so far this spring. Kimbrel's ERA sits at 16.20, though he's logged just 1.2 innings, so of course the small sample size warning applies. The 31-year-old won't ultimately be judged by Cactus League results, but after posting a 6.53 ERA last season, it would be nice to see him turn in a few strong outings before camp ends.
Kimbrel allowed one run on one hit in an inning of work during Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Reds. He struck out two.
Outside of a solo home run he allowed to Derek Dietrich, Kimbrel was fairly sharp in his spring training debut. The Chicago closer had a rough 2019 with a 6.53 ERA and 1.60 WHIP across 20.2 innings, but perhaps going through a more normal routine heading into the season will help him get back on track.
Kimbrel is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut Wednesday, Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
Kimbrel has been easing into spring training work, but he's scheduled to throw a bullpen Monday ahead of his first scheduled game action Wednesday. The 31-year-old joined the Cubs in June last season but experienced some struggles as he posted a career-worst 6.53 ERA and 1.60 WHIP as he converted on 13 of his 16 save chances. Although the right-hander's fastball velocity dipped slightly in 2019, he'll look to return to his past efficiency heading into 2020.
Kimbrel, who is set for seven to eight Cactus League appearances, won't appear in an official spring training game for a while as he works on the side, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
The veteran has a set spring routine, which is something he missed in a down 2019 campaign as he remained unsigned until June. The 31-year-old is hoping the return to normalcy helps him regain his form from 2018, when he posted a 2.74 ERA, though his fastball velocity has dropped a few ticks each of the past two seasons.
Kimbrel was shut down and won't pitch in Sunday's season finale at St. Louis, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
The 31-year-old was also unavailable Saturday, but that news wasn't officially revealed until the ninth inning of the television broadcast as Brandon Kintzler entered -- and converted -- the save opportunity. Kimbrel signed a three-year deal with the Cubs in June, but he struggled during his first season in the Windy City with a 6.53 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 30:12 K:BB and career-high nine home runs allowed in only 20.2 innings.
Kimbrel (0-4) allowed two runs on two hits -- both home runs -- with one walk and two strikeouts to blow his third save in a 9-8 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday.
Kimbrel came in to protect an 8-7 lead and after two pitches the Cubs trailed 9-8. First, Yadier Molina homered to left center and on the next pitch Paul DeJong crushed a ball 440 feet to center field to put the Cardinals in front. In the two games since his activation on Sept. 19, Kimbrel has allowed three homers and accumulated two losses. For the season, Kimbrel is 13-for-16 in save chances with a 6.53 ERA, a 1.60 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.
Kimbrel (0-3) took the loss Thursday against the Cardinals, striking out two but allowing a solo homer in two-thirds of an inning.
Kimbrel returned from an elbow injury Thursday but failed to get the job done in his first game back. He entered a tie game in the top of the 10th inning and struck out the first batter before giving up a solo shot to Matt Carpenter. The veteran closer has struggled in 19.2 innings for the Cubs this season, recording a 5.95 ERA and allowing seven homers, tied for his career high despite the very low innings total. He won't be available Friday as he won't be asked to pitch on back-to-back days immediately after returning from the injured list, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
Kimbrel (elbow) has been activated from the injured list, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.
Kimbrel made it through a pregame workout Thursday without issue, so the Cubs decided he was ready to rejoin the roster. Kimbrel allowed three earned runs in his last appearance and owns a 5.68 ERA since joining the Cubs in June, but expect him to get the ball if a save opportunity presents itself Thursday night.
Manager Joe Maddon said there is a "strong possibility" Kimbrel (elbow) will be activated for Thursday's series opener against the Cardinals, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
This lines up with a report from earlier in the day that Kimbrel would likely be back for one of the first two games of this pivotal series. He has been shaky at times and it seems like he may be getting rushed back, but he is the Cubs' clear closer when active.
Kimbrel (elbow) could come off the 10-day injured list Thursday or Friday against the Cardinals, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
He threw a 16-pitch simulated game Tuesday, and it sounds like he is a day or two away from being ready to face big-league hitters. Kimbrel has only given up runs in five of his 21 appearances, but when he gives up runs he typically gives up a few, which is why his ERA is 5.68. If he does indeed come off the injured list early in this four-game series against the Cardinals, Kimbrel could notch another handful of saves before season's end.
Kimbrel (elbow) threw 16 pitches during Tuesday's simulated game at Wrigley Field, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Kimbrel fired mostly fastballs, but he did mix in a few offspeed pitches, per Bastian. Following Tuesday's throwing session, skipper Joe Maddon stated that his veteran closer could be ready to return by the weekend, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com.
Kimbrel (elbow) will throw a simulated game Tuesday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Elbow inflammation has kept Kimbrel out since the start of September. He could be on track to return over the weekend if his simulated game goes well.
Kimbrel (elbow) had no issues while throwing a 20-pitch bullpen session Sunday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Kimbrel could advance to facing hitters in a simulated game mid-week assuming no issues crop up in the next couple days. There's no official timetable for the 30-year-old's return from the 10-day injured list, but a simulated game could be one of the final steps leading up to his activation.
Kimbrel (elbow) is expected to throw another bullpen session Sunday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Kimbrel completed a bullpen session Thursday and is tentatively scheduled to take the mound again Sunday, assuming he checks out OK over the next couple days. The 31-year-old appears to be nearing his return, but there remains no official timeline for him to come off the injured list.
Kimbrel (elbow) threw a bullpen session Thursday, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Kimbrel incorporated all of his pitches and said afterwards that everything went "fine," though he declined to provide further details. While this is a step in the right direction for the right-hander, his return timeline remains unclear. The Cubs should continue to mix and match in the ninth inning while Kimbrel remains sidelined, with Rowan Wick and Steve Cishek representing possible endgame options, among others.
Kimbrel (elbow) is playing catch Wednesday but doesn't have a bullpen session planned, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
It was reported Tuesday that Kimbrel wouldn't be activated when first eligible Thursday, and there remains no real clarity on his return timeline. The 31-year-old will need be cleared to throw off a mound before the timeline will come into focus.
Kimbrel (elbow) is progressing but won't be activated from the 10-day injured list when first eligible Thursday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
Kimbrel said last week he expected to spend the minimum 10 days on the shelf, but it looks like he'll require at least an extra day of rehab time. The 31-year-old threw off flat ground Sunday, but it's unclear if he's resumed mound work. Kimbrel could still rejoin the Cubs this weekend.
Kimbrel (elbow) threw off flat ground Sunday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Kimbrel has been on the injured list with elbow inflammation, but he reportedly expects a minimum-length stay. The fact that he's resumed throwing already would seem to give him a shot to return when first eligible Thursday.
Kimbrel (elbow) believes he'll be ready to return from the 10-day injured list when first eligible Thursday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Kimbrel has been diagnosed with right elbow inflammation, but his MRI results were encouraging and he doesn't expect to miss much time. The closer hasn't been in peak form since joining the Cubs midseason. He's recorded 13 saves but has struggled to a 5.68 ERA. His 29.6 percent strikeout rate would be quite good for many pitchers but isn't anywhere close to his career 41.1 percent mark.
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