Chicago Cubs: Top 3 players feeling the heat after team’s hot start
Chicago Cubs will have tough time winning without Craig Kimbrel
No one wanted Chicago Cubs veteran ‘closer’ Craig Kimbrel to come out on fire more than yours truly.
When Kimbrel’s name was just a whisper of a rumor, I was pouring out my heart in these articles to Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, begging him to pick up Kimbrel so the team would finally have a worthy closer.
Since Aroldis Chapman left the organization, no one has really blown critics, fans or me away. The closest we’ve come to having someone worthy of the job, is probably 2017’s Wade Davis and since then it’s been all patchwork in the ninth inning.
I’m sure Ross was hoping for the 2017 Kimbrel when he boasted a 1.43 ERA. He’d undoubtedly ‘settle’ for 2018’s 2.74 ERA, I’m sure, as well.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Instead, Ross is looking at a current 23.63 ERA for Kimbrel on the year. I’m not joking, it’s horrible. I’m not sure if Kimbrel thought that Ross was going let him pitch until he got his arm working right but that would have been a pretty bad assumption on Kimbrel’s part. If Ross would have let Kimbrel go on after some of his disastrous starts, the Cubs would most likely not be in first place or have garnered the record they have. Good on Ross.
Of course, that’s the manager’s job; get the win and protect the record. So I thought it was a bit amusing the first time Ross pulled Kimbrel out of the game and Kimbrel looked surprised, like, “You’re pulling – ME? That’s it?”
But God loves those who are accountable and Ross is sticking to his mantra and making his players play or sit.
I’m hoping that Kimbrel can find his way back to that 1.50-2.50 ERA but to be honest, it doesn’t look promising. Kimbrel looks scared these days when he should be exuding confidence. I’m feeling a lot of Brandon Morrow-ness in his whole contract at this point and wondering whether he really wants to be part of this club.
The excuses like coming in late for the season and not having a proper spring training like last year are old news and everyone has faced adversity in this COVID-time.
Does Kimbrel want to be a Chicago Cub and part of this winning season?