There is still the relative formality of making sure he feels good this morning, but new Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel is coming.
The 31-year-old righty, by all accounts, looked his normal dominant self in his final tune-up appearance last night for the Iowa Cubs, striking out a couple and seeing his velocity hit 96 mph.
Of his time in Iowa, manager Marty Pevey said this of Kimbrel (Des Moines Register): “He looked good. The velocity was good. He threw a couple of good breaking balls. He didn’t have any solid contact. He battled late in counts. And he hit the glove …. He has done his work. He came in shape. So, he’s pretty close.”
The expectation very much remains that Kimbrel will now come up to join the big league team.
Craig Kimbrel just finished off an @IowaCubs 5-1 victory with a perfect 9th inning. Two strikeouts, 16 pitches and a fastball that sat 95-96 mph.
He looked ready.
— Alex Cohen (@voiceofcohen) June 26, 2019
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) June 26, 2019
Kimbrel wouldn’t be available to pitch today in any case, so it’s more likely that he officially arrives on the roster on Thursday or Friday. At that point, the Cubs will have to option someone out to make room (more on that later). Kimbrel is already on the 40-man roster, however, so there won’t be a need to make a move on that side of things.
Pitching the ninth for the I-Cubs: Craig Kimbrel pic.twitter.com/9dVs9JnESV
— IowaCubsGameDay (@IowaCubsGameDay) June 26, 2019