Chicago Cubs are going to stick with Kimbrel, no matter what
The Chicago closer made his first appearance earlier this week in an intrasquad game and didn’t look great. He missed spots on key pitches, eventually allowing an opposite-field, two-run shot to Willson Contreras before finishing out his frame. Despite it being his first outing, make no mistakes – Cubs fans are chomping at the bit to write this guy off as the latest failed signing of Theo Epstein.
"“I felt pretty good about yesterday,” Kimbrel said Wednesday. “I was just trying to throw the ball over the plate. That was the first time I had guys taking swings off of me in the last three months. I felt good and got some good feedback. It was a good day.”"
Even if that’s the case though, there’s a simple truth you need to accept. Craig Kimbrel is – and will continue to be – this team’s closer throughout the 2020 campaign. First-year manager David Ross played an integral role in recruiting Kimbrel to play for the Cubs last summer and he’s going to have his back unfailingly this year.
"“He’s had a pretty good track record,” Ross told MLB.com. “I know last year was unique and really an outlier, for me.”"
Ross is going to be one of those loyalty managers. If you’re putting in the work and grinding through a rough patch, he’s more likely than not going to support you and have your back. That’s an admirable quality in a world that’s more short-sighted and driven by a ‘what have you done for me lately’ mentality than perhaps ever before.
But it could also prove fatal to the Cubs’ postseason hopes.