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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  • QuietMan 1 hour 48 min ago (view)

    Edwards optioned to Iowa per Jesse Rogers,

     

  • George Altman 2 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Yeah.....yeah. I think I'm good too. Put him and Strop in the Shawn Greene deal.

     

  • Mike Wellman 4 hours 11 min ago (view)

    I feel like I've already waited & seen enough of CEJ...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 33 min ago (view)

    Not as much as it makes his stomach tighten!

    i dont think we should trade him. We would get nothing of value back. But I don’t think he should be a bullpen piece on a playoff contender either. He should be in Iowa. Reassess where he’s at for September and next year. If they don’t like what they see, non-tender.

     

  • Charlie 5 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Cheap may not be the right word, but has put up reasonable value per dollar compared to other relievers prior to this ear.

    He accrued 2.9 bWAR 2017-2018. Strop put up 3.2 bWAR during the same period. Edwards is making $1.5M this year. Strop is making $6.25M. He'll get a bump again this offseason even if he doesn't rebound in the second half, of course. I just don't see a need to trade him unless the Cubs are being offered value in return.

    That said, it does make my stomach knot up a bit when I see they are bringing him into a close game.

     

  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Carl Edwards Jr will be out of minor league options next season (2020), and he will (once again) be arbitration-eligible post-2019 (he was "Super Two" arb eligible post-2018) and he will be a FA post-2022. 

     

  • crunch 18 hours 25 min ago (view)

    cubs lose, cards win, brews win.

    boo.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 11 min ago (view)

    I think this is his last option year. And he’s not as cheap as you’d think, he’s a super two qualified player this year.

     

  • Charlie 20 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Edwards is frustrating at times. Some of that frustration comes from thinking he could be much better than he currently is. But prior to this year (in which he has pitched very few innings), he's overall been an OK relief pitcher in the majors. I'm happy to wait and see on him for quite a while. Still has an option and is cheap, right?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 20 min ago (view)

    I feel pretty safe in saying that 1. They don’t want him and 2. If they did, things wouldn’t improve for CJ.

    Allowing inherited runners and 1-2 of your own in a close game is what I like to call the “Carl Jr Special.” It was formerly a Justin Grimm special, thankfully Carl stepped up to fill that void.

     

  • crunch 21 hours 27 min ago (view)

    there's always nick castellanos for a chance to rid of edwards...at which point a couple month rental will probably turn edwards into their ace closer or something just as awesome.

     

  • Eric S 21 hours 28 min ago (view)

    The bitter side of me thinks it should have been a two for one trade for Maldonado 

    Anyways, has not been a clean series for the Cubs against the Padres - fortunate to have won the series and a 7-2 home stand is a pretty big dill. Or deal. Or something

     

  • crunch 21 hours 33 min ago (view)

    edwards gonna edwards...blah

     

  • bradsbeard 23 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Thanks for the clarification. Guess we’ll find out what he’s going to do sooner than later. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 6 min ago (view)

    delay over, game on.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    And if Zobrist were to consent to an Optional Assignment to the minors for the purpose of getting into playing shape, it could very well be to AA Tennessee (close to his home in Nashville) rather than to AAA Iowa. He might even just play home games for the Smokies and then work out on his own while they are on the road.