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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  • jdrnym 3 hours 1 min ago (view)

    AZPHIL, has there been official word as to whether the 26-man roster has been extended down to the minor league levels that previously had 25-man rosters? Can't really think of a reason why that shouldn't be the case...

     

  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Another possibility for a "26th man" in 2020 would be a young pitcher selected in the Rule 5 Draft who has big league upside but who is clearly not yet "big league ready," or a pitcher who is out of minor league options who might not be quite MLB ready.

     

  • Cubster 10 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Just sign Rick Reuschel and lets move on

     

  • crunch 10 hours 44 min ago (view)

    "Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Scott Kazmir will throw for MLB teams this week.

    The 36-year-old Kazmir hasn't thrown in the majors since the 2016 season, but he recently told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he that he hit 90.9 mph with his fastball during a bullpen session."

    someone put another bottle of left-in-the-car warm water under the cubs hot stove and let's get this one done!  woo!

    sigh.

     

  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    bryce harper ruined that bat dragging thing for everyone after his ejection years ago at the junior college world series.

    also, hurrah for baseball making it's return.

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    College ball started Saturday.  Umpire egos in D1 baseball are not that much smaller than in the pros, so of course there was a controversy.  In the late innings of a game in the weekend's biggest series (Michigan vs.

     

  • crunch 3 days 6 min ago (view)

    the news is mostly based on a Baseball America article from the 11th (behind a paywall)...so the gist of it is rather legit rumor-wise, though it's still too far in the future to call it a 100% done deal.

    btw, the cubs have been strongly linked to pursuing christian hernandez for quite a while.  the BA writer that wrote the article about the cubs links has been following c.hernandez since he was a 14yo talent and is quite familiar with him.  that signing probably is in the bag.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    I don't know much about this website, but they are speculating that the Cubs may sign two of the top International Free Agents available during this signing period: https://www.cubshq.com/print/news.do?id=16441&isNe... Does anyone know if this sounds legit?

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Minnie Minoso was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 47 and Julio Franco was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 49, so Mexican League teams clearly do not have a problem with signing older players. 

    And of course the ageless Satchel Paige was still working as a SP in AAA (with the Miami Marlins) into his early 50's (and prior to that he pitched in MLB as late as age 46).  

     

  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    b.colon has signed to a mexican league team.  woo old dudes.  he turns 47 in may...believed by some to be older.

     

  • Cubster 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Replacing someone like David DeJesus?

     

  • crunch 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    mark grace returns to chicago as an analyst/on-air-talent for Marquee.

    he won't be part of the main game calling crew, but will be doing support content during games.

     

  • Eric S 5 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Increasing levels of smoke concerning a possible Arenado/KB trade

    https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2020/02/13/cubs-reportedly-are-absolutely-motivated-to-try-to-acquire-nolan-arenado/

    Get Arenado to agree to push back his opt out a few years or so down the road and this could work out nicely for the Cubs

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Jason Kipnis (like Brandon Morrow) was a post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a 2020 minor league contract, so he gets a $100K retention bonus and an automatic June 1st player opt-out if he is not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB 40-man roster or MLB 60-day IL by 12 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 days 2 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed post-2019 second-contract minor league FA catcher Jordan Procyshen to a 2020 minor league contract and he has been assigned to AA Tennessee.  

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Q could be subbed in for any of those too