Craig Kimbrel has earned an apology from his doubters
Old. Washed up. Past his prime. Fans could easily question the addition of Craig Kimbrel in the offseason. This isn’t the same intimidating closer who would leer over on the mound in an Atlanta Braves uniform during the early stages of the Phillies’ postseason drought. A shell of his former self, the free agent signing of Kimbrel should be looked at positively.
Although the Phillies are still more closer-by-committee than some of us are used to seeing, Kimbrel’s experience in the final inning should have him continuing to close out games for the Phils more than anyone else. How can they not go to him? He has earned our trust.
Kimbrel’s year has been much like Walker’s. He had an okay 4.09 ERA in the first month of the season only to see it almost double to 8.00 in May. Things turned a corner for Kimbrel in June. He made 13 appearances out of the bullpen and allowed only one earned run in 13 innings while saving 5 games. The Renaissance was especially needed in the absence of Jose Alvarado who had been the team’s most trusted reliever prior to his injury.
Kimbrel is 12 for 12 in save opportunities and the owner of a 5-1 record with a 3.82 ERA. His numbers are getting steadily better. He appears to be the victim of two seriously terrible appearances which are still trying to even themselves out.