Phillies: 3 Reasons Acquiring Closer Craig Kimbrel is a Must

Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Cubs Craig Kimbrel Phillies
Craig Kimbrel (46) of the Chicago Cubs (David Banks/USA TODAY Sports) /

2. Landing Craig Kimbrel would also help out the Phillies rotation.

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury continued that he would not bite too much into the team’s future to acquire Craig Kimbrel. But, if he were Dave Dombrowski, he would be talking to the Cubs and “trying to effort something” — for the simple reason that he is really good.

“He would help fill a big weakness right now in 2021,” Salisbury said.

Among the weaknesses that Kimbrel would also help out, not just the closer position itself, is help alleviate starting pitching concerns. The Phillies have used starter-turned-reliever Ranger Suarez as of late in the closer role. While he has successfully saved half of his six opportunities, Salisbury notes landing Kimbrel would help the team “kill two birds with one stone.”

“You are looking for a fourth or fifth starter,” he said. “You get Kimbrel to close games and maybe Ranger Suarez can go back in the rotation and fill that fourth or fifth spot.”

The Phillies starting rotation outlook became even bleaker on Tuesday, with their presumed third-best starter Zach Eflin being placed on the 10-day injured list with right patellar tendinitis. And while Aaron Nola returned from the COVID-19 injured list, he has been far from his ace-capable self in 2021 — going 6-6 with a 4.64 ERA and 1.228 WHIP ratio across 19 starts.

The Phillies have some fallback options — such as Cristopher Sánchez, who played a key part in an impressive one-run win against the Boston Red Sox to close out the first half of the season. Sánchez was called on to eat several innings after Nola was scratched from the Sunday afternoon start due to COVID-19 woes.

Still, the Phillies’ options beyond Sánchez are thin. That is why getting Kimbrel to perhaps move Suarez to the rotation would not be a bad idea.