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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  • crunch 48 min 57 sec ago (view)

    cubs lose, cards win, brews win.

    boo.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 34 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 2 hours 44 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 3 hours 43 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 3 hours 51 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 3 hours 51 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 3 hours 57 min ago (view)

    edwards gonna edwards...blah

     

  • bradsbeard 5 hours 25 min ago (view)

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

     

  • crunch 6 hours 29 min ago (view)

    delay over, game on.

     

  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 6 min 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. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 19 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Ben Zobrist (and Tony Barnette) cannot be reinstated from the Restricted List August 1st - October 31st without special approval from the MLB Commissioner (which would be problematic), and Zobrist and Barnette absolutely will - NOT - (under any cicumstances) be eligible to play in the post-season if not reinstated from the Restricted List prior to midnight on August 31st. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 33 min ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Pedro Martinez is a bat-first switch-hitting infielder capable of playing 2B-3B-SS (best position is 2B). He runs well and is a savvy baserunner, shows occasional HR power, and is at least as good a hitter as Reivaj Garcia (probably even better). 

     

  • Jackstraw 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    I checked.  You are correct.  No one.  Ever.

     

  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    joe sure likes putting kimbrel to work.

     

  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    currently a big fan of hispanic puerto ricans...

     

  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    currently a big fan of hispanic italians...