Craig Kimbrel is back!... but for Chicago
This is kind of a bittersweet thing for Red Sox fans--but more on the bitter side.
That's right: Craig Kimbrel is expected to make his regular season debut this week for the Chicago Cubs. The team is expected to activate him Thursday and then, we can only assume they'll snap that super long World Series drought they're on (three years). Chicago has waited long enough to win again.
He was with the Iowa Cubs for like nine days, made four appearances and allowed a run in 3.2 innings pitched. He gave up two hits, walked a batter and struck out four. What can we tell based on that? Essentially nothing, but it is a good sign that he did not pitch like Fernando Abad with the bases loaded or something like that.
What we do know is the Red Sox could badly use Craig Kimbrel, and they did not get him. The Red Sox were complacent this offseason and they deserve some flak for it. The season has been decent so far, but they could have really used a guy like that. He's good.
Opposing batters hit .146 off the guy last season and he fanned 96 batters in 62.1 innings pitched. His 2.74 ERA was not exactly the Kimbrel people expected, but he was a good pitcher nonetheless.
Let's hope Kimbrel's little plan of sitting out for way too long works out for him. It didn't really work for Stephen Drew in 2014 but hey, maybe this guy has something Drew doesn't: like talent.
Oh yeah, and he was also briefly teammates with Red Sox legend Junichi Tazawa as a member of the Iowa Cubs. In case you were wondering how Tazawa is doing in Triple-A, the answer is not too well. We're talking a 4.40 ERA in 15 relief appearances.