Craig Kimbrel

Friday, November 4, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022

During spring training of 2022 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded their right-handed outfielder A.J. Pollock to the Chicago White Sox for their aging closer Craig Kimbrel. At no time during the 2022 season, Kimbrel was dominating, and during the NLDS against the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers left Kimbrel off their roster.

In hindsight, President Andrew Friedman was right the Dodgers needed a defined closer. Going into spring training, the Dodgers thought they planned to use Blake Treinen as their closer, and they had Daniel Hudson as a setup man and who could be a backup closer. Treinen was never healthy, only appearing in five games during the 2022 regular season, and Hudson tore his ACL in June against the Atlanta Braves.

At 34, Kimbrel’s velocity has decreased. Relying on his curveball, he had bad control, which is the kiss to death for any reliever, particularly for a closer. Although Kimbrel had 22 saves, a few was clean. Instead of trying to induce soft contact, Kimbrel tried to strike out everybody, and he had 72 strikeouts, but trying to get Ks led Kimbrel to nibble at the strike zone.

With his glory days behind him, Kimbrel needs to retire, and the Dodgers need to find a new reliable closer.

Leave a Reply