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Friday, September 27, 2019

Theo Epstein: Craig Kimbrel’s late arrival was the ‘single biggest reason’ for his struggles

Craig Kimbrel signed with the Cubs with plenty of fanfare in June. His on-field performance didn’t match the hype.

Kimbrel entered Thursday with a 6.53 ERA and a 1.6 WHIP in 20 2/3 innings with the Cubs. The highest ERA of his career before this season was 3.40. He hasn’t had a WHIP above 1.1 since his rookie year.

Theo Epstein has a theory why Kimbrel struggled, although there’s nothing surprising about it.

“We knew that given that he wouldn’t have a normal spring training, given that he was trying to do something that very few had ever done before, which was join the team midstream in a closer’s role, that there would be some risk,” Epstein said in an interview on 670 The Score on Thursday. “We felt it was certainly a risk worth taking. I think it’s impossible to pinpoint how much of his struggles have been because of that, but from my perspective it’s the single biggest factor. He’s never struggled like this before. He’s never even been close to having this type of performance before.”

This feels like a rather passive way of describing how that situation came into being, doesn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: September 27, 2019 at 01:03 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: craig kimbrel, theo epstein

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   1. Nasty Nate Posted: September 27, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5883590)
This feels like a rather passive way of describing how that situation came into being, doesn’t it?
What do you mean? The Cubs were in a passive role in how that situation came into being.
   2. SandyRiver Posted: September 27, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5883759)
Kimbrel entered Thursday with a 6.53 ERA and a 1.6 WHIP in 20 2/3 innings with the Cubs. The highest ERA of his career before this season was 3.40. He hasn’t had a WHIP above 1.1 since his rookie year.

That's pretty much what he did in 10.2 PS innings last year, ERA 5.91, WHIP 1.603. Somehow he was 6-for-6 in save opportunities, though we don't know how many Bosox fans had cardiac issues while he was doing that.
   3. Darren Posted: September 27, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5883805)
How is it passive? He says that they took a risk and it didn't work.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5883807)
How is it passive? He says that they took a risk and it didn't work.

They could have signed Kimbrel in the off-season.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 27, 2019 at 06:04 PM (#5883825)

Yikes, he's allowed 9 HR in 20 innings? That's even worse than Diaz.
   6. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 27, 2019 at 06:07 PM (#5883827)

Also, "late arrival" didn't seem to affect Keuchel that much (his FIP was higher this year than in recent seasons, but ERA was in line). Maybe it's different for a closer, as Theo implies.
   7. Brian C Posted: September 27, 2019 at 07:09 PM (#5883838)
Kimbrel frequently battled injuries and seemed to save his worst performances for the worst possible moments. So in summation, he's pretty much the perfect symbol for the 2019 Cubs.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 27, 2019 at 10:10 PM (#5883887)
Where's that crying towel?
   9. Greg Pope Posted: September 28, 2019 at 08:58 AM (#5883949)
Also, "late arrival" didn't seem to affect Keuchel that much (his FIP was higher this year than in recent seasons, but ERA was in line). Maybe it's different for a closer, as Theo implies.

Or maybe it's different for different players. Given that they're actually different people and all.
   10. Captain Supporter Posted: September 28, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5883993)
They could have signed Kimbrel in the off-season.


He was asking for $100 Million for 5 or 6 years. That could and did make every team passive. Fortunately for them.

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