One of the most dominant closers of not only his time, but all-time, Craig Kimbrel, has been added to the 2023 MLB All-Star Game as a replacement for Brewers closer Devin Williams.
Kimbrel, 35, is now an All-Star for the ninth time in his 14-year career, continuing to add to the ever-growing list of accolades he has.
Phillies news: Craig Kimbrel added to All-Star Game
A former closer for the division rival Atlanta Braves, Kimbrel has bounced around a bit in recent years after breaking into the league as an otherworldly talent. After five strong years in Atlanta in which he posted a combined 1.43 ERA, he found himself shipped off to San Diego and then Boston for a handful of years.
2019 was when the wheels suddenly began to fall off for Kimbrel. As a member of the Chicago Cubs, he made just 23 appearances with a 6.53 ERA and 68 ERA+, easily the worst marks of his career. He continued to struggle in the COVID-shortened 2020, but saw his numbers bounce back in a huge way to kick off 2021. After spending that year on both Chicago teams, he played for the Dodgers last year and was able to turn that into a payday with the Phillies.
So here we are, halfway through the 2023 campaign and it appears that Kimbrel is just about all the way back. He's never going to post an ERA that starts with 1 again, but he doesn't need to at this stage of his career, he's already done more than enough to cement himself into the conversation of one of the best closers in MLB history.
In a total of 39 outings this season, the right-hander has a 3.41 ERA, 3.26 FIP and 127 ERA+, striking out 57 batters in just 37 innings of work and earning 14 saves. Again, he is not quite the dominant force he once was, but he's done plenty to earn this All-Star Game appearance and will join Nick Castellanos in the event as the only two Phillies representatives.