Craig Kimbrel to Pitch Tuesday for Iowa, Activation for Braves Series Still Possible
Craig Kimbrel started for the Iowa Cubs Saturday night, giving him outings on consecutive days and checking one more box on his readiness list. And no, that’s not a typo. With a deluge headed for Des Moines, the Cubs opted to use Kimbrel as an opener in order to ensure his ability to pitch.
The outing was far from perfect, with a homer allowed and only two outs recorded, though some of that can probably be attributed to the situation. A lot of folks scoff at the idea of a closer needing to pitch in save situations, but pitchers are weird creatures who thrive on routine. Closers are even weirder and they rely on an entirely different motivation.
Let's try this again.. Final line for RHP Craig Kimbrel tonight with @IowaCubs: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 BB. 14 pitches, 8 strikes. Gave up a solo homer to Josh Rojas, K'd last batter he faced on curveball. Fastball 93-95.
Thru 3 outings w/I-Cubs: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB.
— Alex Cohen (@voiceofcohen) June 23, 2019
The Cubs said prior to Sunday’s finale with the Mets that their closer-in-waiting will pitch for the I-Cubs Tuesday in Des Moines, after which they’ll determine the next steps. It sounds as though he’ll at least be with the big club by the end of their upcoming series with the Braves, though he might not be active.
It’s more likely at this point that he’ll be added to the roster when the Cubs travel to Cincinnati, which is sort of a buzzkill. With full understanding that you can’t make personnel decisions just based on the fans, it’s too bad that Kimbrel’s Cubs debut may not come at Wrigley.