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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  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 12 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released RHRP (and their erstwhile closer) Brandon Morrow. There is no indication that they plan to re-sign him to another (different) 2020 minor league contract without the Article XX-B $100K retention bonus provision (as happened with Jason Kipnis last week).  

     

  • crunch 6 hours 39 min ago (view)

    rizzo takes another day off (lower back).  ross says the club is "exercising caution."

    klye ryan is expected to join the team tomorrow after some mysterious holdup.

     

  • Ryno 7 hours 16 min ago (view)

    Has anyone seen Darvish's pitch "The Supreme"?  Isn't it just a sinker?

     

  • Ryno 7 hours 24 min ago (view)

    In other words:  This lineup sucks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Jason Kipnis was released on June 29th and then he was re-signed to a new (different) 2020 minor league contract that does not require a $100K retention bonus if he is not added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 2020 MLB Opening Day (7/23).  

    Brandon Morrow remains on his original 2020 minor league contract which pays him a $100K retention bonus if he is not released by 7/18 or added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 7/23. 

     

  • Eric S 7 hours 46 min ago (view)

    There is that re Kimbrel - at worst, just another year on the books.

     July 1st is Bobby Bonilla Day - the day that check is cut and paid annually. 

     

  • Cubster 7 hours 52 min ago (view)

    On the bright side regarding Kimbrel. It doesn't have the lasting bad side as the Mets arrangement with Bobby Bonilla. Unless they want to re-negotiate Kimbrel's terms.

     

  • Eric S 9 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Yep

    Watching the last night's highlight clip was not encouraging either as discussed here:  https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2020/07/08/craig-kimbrels-intrasquad-performance-is-a-reminder-of-the-concerns-that-already-existed/

     

  • crunch 13 hours 55 min ago (view)

    i still can't believe this front office paid anyone 16m a year to throw 60-70ip...

     

  • Eric S 23 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Unfortunately, Kimbrel in Cub mid season form as well, giving up a two out, two run oppo homer to Willson. 

    Kimbrel Cub stats which I tried to bury but were dug up again: gave up a career high 9 home runs in only 20 2/3 inning, averaged a career high 9.1 hits allowed per 9 innings and served up a 6.53 ERA for his troubles. And no full spring training build up period again.  Still hopeful he's got something left in the tank this year and next but man, he's got my full attention going into the season

     

  • BobbyD 23 hours 45 min ago (view)

    Hmm. Never thought about it that way. Maybe it is a very stable genius? 

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    maybe he's hoping it'll be bad enough to flip the population odometer over to 0 after humanity is wiped from the planet.  let's give him more time to see if he's right before we get too down on him.

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    "Shohei Ohtani threw just 15 of his 50 pitches for strikes in an intrasquad game Tuesday.  Trent Rush had him at eight walks, a hit by pitch and six wild pitches before he was shut down for a day. "

    ow.

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    anthony rizzo is in mid-season form.

    he sat out today with lower back tightness.

     

  • BobbyD 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Well, back in February (I think; that was about 17 years ago now), our diaper staining commander in his own mind declared we had 15 cases in the U.S. and that would quickly go to zero. 130k dead and rapidly rising now 4 months later I still have brain dead neighbors in SoCal saying if Biden gets elected we're screwed. I wonder what they think screwed looks like. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    cubs taking full advantage of that "night games deal" with the wrigleyville neighborhood...almost all the home games will be night games.

    8 home day games, 6 on the weekend.