Kimbrel worked a scoreless ninth inning to notch his second save of the season Saturday in the Cubs' 4-2 win over the Brewers. He gave up two hits and struck out one in the 26-pitch appearance.
With scoreless outings in 10 of his last 11 appearances to go with a 22:7 K:BB in 10.1 innings over that span, Kimbrel appears to have re-entered manager David Ross' circle of trust. While he wasn't at his sharpest Saturday, Kimbrel did well to limit the damage after giving up back-to-back singles to kick off the bottom of the ninth. Jeremy Jeffress still looks like Chicago's top end-game option with a sub-1.00 ERA and seven saves in eight chances on the season, but Kimbrel's strong form of late may have allowed him to move ahead of Rowan Wick on the closer depth chart.
Kimbrel allowed a hit and struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief Wednesday against the Reds.
Kimbrel worked the ninth inning, though it wasn't a save situation with the Cubs down 3-0. While the veteran reliever still has an unsightly 7.36 ERA, he's now posted three straight scoreless innings with six strikeouts since giving up two runs and blowing a save on Aug. 29. Jeremy Jeffress and Rowan Wick have taken over closing duties in Chicago, but if Kimbrel can continue to pitch well, he could still see some high-leverage duty as the Cubs move toward the postseason.
Kimbrel (0-1) took the loss and the blown save in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against Cincinnati, pitching two-thirds of an inning and allowing two runs on one hit and three walks while striking out a pair.
Kimbrel entered the contest on a five-outing scoreless and hitless streak. He was called upon to protect a one-run lead in the bottom of the final frame but yielded a pair of walks and a single to allow the Reds to tie the game. Kimbrel then loaded the bases with an intentional walk, and Cincinnati subsequently walked off with a win as the result of a wild pitch Kimbrel uncorked while facing Jose Garcia. The outing was a microcosm of Kimbrel's season thus far -- he has allowed only seven hits while striking out 15 batters over eight innings, but his ERA sits at an ugly 10.13 thanks largely to 12 walks and four wild pitches.
Kimbrel hit a batter but struck out the side in a scoreless inning to earn the save in the Cubs' second game of a doubleheader Wednesday against the Cardinals.
Kimbrel was called upon to protect a two-run lead, and he turned in a vintage performance to record his first save of the season. The only blip came when he hit Tommy Edman with a pitch, the third batter of the inning. Aside from that, Kimbrel showed improved control, finding the zone with 13 of his 20 pitches while also generating five called strikes and two swinging strikes. Both Rowan Wick and Jeremy Jeffress have served in the closer role since Kimbrel's early struggles, though it's possible that Kimbrel can regain the role, particularly if he can repeat this success.
Kimbrel allowed two earned runs on two hits while retiring just a single batter in a 5-4 win over the Royals Tuesday.
Leading 5-2, the Cubs decided to let Kimbrel get another shot at the ninth inning, but after allowing a single and a double sandwiched around a strikeout, the veteran got the hook. Kyle Ryan allowed both inherited runners to score but hung on for the save. Kimbrel now has a 32.40 ERA this season, and at this point, it's hard to see him getting many more save opportunities in the near future. Rowan Wick and Jeremy Jeffress figure to benefit.
Kimbrel was not used in a save opportunity Monday against the Royals, as Rowan Wick tossed 1.1 scoreless innings to close out a 2-0 win.
Over the weekend, manager David Ross was noncommittal when asked whether Kimbrel would remain the Cubs' closer going forward, and Monday's bullpen usage would seem to suggest Ross has more confidence in Wick. Kimbrel hadn't pitched since Friday, so he was fresh, and no injury has been reported. It simply seems that Kimbrel will be at best sharing the role for now, though it's possible that Wick and Jeremy Jeffress will take the reins in the ninth, with Kimbrel moving to a lower-leverage role for now. The veteran reliever turned in a career-worst 6.53 ERA for Chicago last season and has a 27.00 ERA through two appearances in 2020.
Manager David Ross was noncommittal Saturday when asked whether Kimbrel would remain the Cubs' closer going forward, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Kimbrel entered Friday's game against the Pirates in the ninth inning during a non-save situation, but he allowed back-to-back home runs to Josh Bell and Colin Moran. The Cubs held on to win 6-3, but the right-hander has now had two rough outings to begin the season after struggling last season. Ross said he would have conversations with Kimbrel to determine his role going forward but declined to say whether he'd handle the ninth-inning duties in the near future. Jeremy Jeffress and Rowan Wick would be the most likely replacements if the 32-year-old loses his job as the closer.
Kimbrel allowed two earned runs on two hits over an inning of work in a non-save situation against the Pirates on Friday.
Kimbrel allowed back-to-back home runs to Josh Bell and Colin Moran in the ninth inning, but the Cubs hung on for the 6-3 win. Kimbrel allowed two earned runs while retiring just a single batter in his first appearance of the season Monday, and the veteran reliever now carries an atrocious 27.00 ERA. It's early, but given the struggles Kimbrel had last season, there is reason to be at least somewhat concerned. If the Cubs did decide to make a change at closer at some point, Jeremy Jeffress or Rowan Wick would likely be next in line.
Kimbrel gave up two runs on four walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch over one-third of an inning during Monday's 8-7 win over the Reds.
The veteran closer was entrusted with a three-run lead to begin the ninth inning but was unable to record the save, as he threw only 13 of 34 pitches for strikes and needed Jeremy Jeffress to bail him out. Kimbrel still got credit for a hold, but this was hardly the way he, the Cubs, or anyone with fantasy shares in him expected his season to begin. If there was a silver lining to the outing it was that his velocity was OK -- he topped out at 97.5 mph with his fastball, on the pitch that plunked Freddy Galvis -- but Kimbrel will need to turn things around fast if he's going to keep hold of the closer spot.
Kimbrel struck out two batters but also allowed a home run in an intrasquad game Tuesday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
While this is just one outing in a scrimmage, Kimbrel is a player worth watching closely in the early going considering his struggles a year ago. The Cubs and fantasy owners will surely want to see the veteran reliever get off to a fast start. If he looks like he did in 2019 (6.53 ERA and 1.60 WHIP across 20.2 innings) for an extended period of time, Chicago could turn to someone like Jeremy Jeffress or Rowan Wick to close out games.
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.
|Last 7 Games|
|10/02||vs MIA||L 0-2||1.1||0||0||2||2|
|09/26||@ CHW||L 5-9||1.0||0||0||0||2|
|09/23||@ PIT||L 1-2||0.1||0||0||0||0|
|09/16||vs CLE||W 3-2||1.0||0||0||0||2|
|09/12||@ MIL||W 4-2||1||1.0||2||0||0||1|
|09/11||@ MIL||L 0-1||1.0||0||0||0||2|
|09/09||vs CIN||L 0-3||1.0||1||0||0||2|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2016||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||0.1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0.00||10.000|