The Kimbrel Kronicles

Here is what I saw this week from Craig Kimbrel's Spring Training in June at the Cubs Mesa facility:  

He's wearing #24 

SATURDAY 6/15 
26 pitches (14 strikes) in late afternoon (104 degrees) "live" BP/sim game on Field #1 at Riverview Baseball Complex
Seven batters faced 
1. hard-contact ground ball down 1st base line on a 1-0 pitch (would have been a double or a triple) 
2. hard contact fly ball (HR) to LF on 1-1 pitch 
3. strike out swinging on 2-2 pitch 
4. strike out looking on 2-2 pitch 
5. walk on 3-2 pitch 
6. hard-contact line-drive to left-center on 1-0 pitch (would have been a double) 
7. soft contact grounder to SS on 1-2 pitch (would have been 6-4 FC or 6-4-3 DP if needed)
NOTE: Also two foul balls - one hard contact line-drive off 1st base side bench fence, the other lined straight back  
COMMENT: Still has command issues and stuff was not as electric as in previous outing on Thursday 

THURSDAY 6/13
 
24 pitches (15 strikes) in late afternoon (108 degrees) "live" BP/sim game at Sloan Park (Cubs Spring Training stadium)
Five batters faced 
1. hard contact line-drive to RF on 0-2 pitch (would have been a single) 
2. strike out swinging on 2-2 pitch 
3. strike out swinging on 3-2 pitch 
4. strike out swinging on 2-2 pitch 
5. soft-contact two-hopper to 1st base on 2-1 pitch (would have been a 3-U) 
NOTE: There were also four foul balls popped into grandstands, two on 1st base side and two on 3rd base side.  
COMMENT: Had difficulty commanding FB but velo in mid-90's and slider was sharp 

MONDAY 6/10 
44 pitches thrown in morning bullpen session (10:45 AM local).
COMMENT: He bounced slider a few times but went straight-through without stopping and looked pleased after he was done (smiled and shook hands with everybody who was there). 

My favorite part of Kimbrel's two "live" BP outings was 35 or 40 of the Cubs AZL pitchers standing around watching him warm up in the bullpen before he took the field. 

So my general opinion of Kimbrel's performance this week is that while he clearly has good FB velo and his slider has bite, he also has difficulty commanding his stuff and throwing strikes, and inexperienced AZL hitters were able to barrel-up his stuff and make hard contact a bit too often. 

Comments

Phil, thanks. You are the Man!

t.barnette and d.hultzen worked today's IOW game.  nice to have emerging options...

d.mekkes is continuing to be a future end-game reliever to keep an eye on, too.  he's not making many team prospect lists, and he's not blowing anyone away, but he's steady getting it done.

another young fan took a foul ball for an injury...off the bat of castro (MIA) @STL

m.carpenter (STL) just got a stand up double bunting against the shift on a ball that barely got to the lip of the outfield grass.

a little more of that from many more players would be interesting.

Kimbrel pitched the 7th inning for the Iowa Cubs today - he threw 8 pitches (6 strikes) to three batters getting a fly out to center, a groundout to third and swinging K. Nice start!

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  • Charlie 6 min 8 sec ago (view)

    Dang, I miss Javy and Rizz.

     

  • Mike Wellman 32 min 35 sec ago (view)

    The Hey, Hoe, Hen alignment...

     

  • crunch 56 min 1 sec ago (view)

    zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini / heyward / hoe / hendricks

    this lineup seems to be a popular thing.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Lots of games where they failed to add on.

    Lots of games Strop has single handedly blown, too.

     

  • Charlie 5 hours 1 min ago (view)

    There are so many candidates. The early season losing streak comes painfully to mind.

     

  • Charlie 5 hours 1 min ago (view)

    JHey's swing looks like it slipped into groundout mode. That Nico lineout was heartbreaking. :(

     

  • Charlie 5 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Threw Vanmeter a curve and changeup that both looked great on TV, though Vanmeter didn't offer.

     

  • Mike Wellman 6 hours 47 min ago (view)

    First thing I'll point to, depending on the final order of finish, is the fact that, for the second year in a row we took the lead off of Hader in the 8th inning of a key late-season game @ Milwaukee & couldn't keep it. The second thing will be the game we led 5-0 after 7 & managed to lose. Nats next face Marlins. Cards come to town licking their chops/beaks to finish us off...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 53 min ago (view)

    They’re toast. Can’t finish games, can’t finish series, and it looks very much like they won’t finish this season.

     

  • Hagsag 11 hours 10 min ago (view)

    The Cubbies are in a tough situation. If they make the playoffs, they will have earned it!. Enjoy the ride folks.

     

  • Eric S 17 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Reds win season series 11-8 - possibly the first thing you point to should the Cubs miss the post season

     

  • Eric S 17 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Long looking swing for JHey ... and Nico - oof

     

  • Eric S 17 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Heard Len say Descalso’s name and about had a heart attack. Then heard him say “pinch runner” and settled down a bit

     

  • Charlie 17 hours 48 min ago (view)

    Contreras's receiving didn't do Norwood any favors in that Vanmeter at-bat. And Norwood needed some favors.

     

  • Eric S 17 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Gotta do better than three hits in nine innings in a start by Mahle - this one is on the bats

     

  • crunch 17 hours 59 min ago (view)

    4th pitcher of the inning coming in...neat