Who would have thought that the long time Atlanta Brave closer and the recent after thought would become such an integral piece of the Phillies revamped bullpen. When Alvarado went down, Kimbrel stepped into the Closer role seamlessly. He did more than hold it over until Alvarado got back, he grabbed the position by the horns and hasn’t let go. He has 13 saves and zero blown saves which is something the Phillies could not say they are used to. His velocity has ticked up this season and has stayed consistent. His knuckle curve has a bite on it that we haven’t seen in his most recent years. His resurgence has been a significant addition to this bullpen.
It’s not a hot take to say the 28-year old righty has not looked right this year. Maybe it was the deep playoff run or maybe it’s a nagging injury but he has not been as sharp. This is evident by his 4.33 era and his 1.56 WHIP. Just by the eye test, he has seemed to always have runners on base or have been giving up untimely homeruns. He has been on the IL with an oblique strain so hopefully he fully recovers soon and finds his form that helped carry the Phillies to the World Series.