Lifeless Stare: Craig Kimbrel to the Injured List with Right Knee Inflammation (UPDATES: Minimum Stay?)

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Lifeless Stare: Craig Kimbrel to the Injured List with Right Knee Inflammation (UPDATES: Minimum Stay?)

Chicago Cubs

Earlier today, we caught word of Duane Underwood Jr.’s call back up to the big leagues, at the expense of a then-unnamed right-handed reliever.

Well, guess what … I liked it better when I didn’t know who it was:

The Cubs big, mid-season free-agent signing and closer Craig Kimbrel is heading to the injured list with a knee issue. I’d say that’s preferable than any sort of arm/elbow/shoulder/hand injury – and it is – but without knowing any other details (updates below), you’ll be hard-pressed to find any optimism here.

Along with Underwood, the remaining righties in the bullpen are Brandon Kintzler, Steve Cishek, Rowan Wick, David Phelps, and Tyler Chatwood. And your best bet at an interim closers – though I suspect it’ll be more of a closer-by-committee approach – are Kintzler and Cishek.

The Cubs were finally starting to engender some positivity with a sweep of the Brewers and return of Cole Hamels … and then we lose Willson Contreras and Craig Kimbrel in a matter of days.

IMMEDIATE UPDATE I: Kimbrel got an MRI and it revealed some inflammation and … maybe it’s not the end of the world?

If it really isn’t much more than 10 days, the Cubs will survive, but you’ll miss him in the meantime and risk losing the continued progress he made after starting his year mid-way through the season. Fingers crossed and all that.

UPDATE II: Players are almost ALWAYS more optimistic about their injuries than they should be, but Kimbrel is suggesting that he’d pitch through this if it were October and that he won’t need more than the minimum stay in any case:

Other news and background:

That second tweet is especially important to me, because Kimbrel has obviously been dealing with some depressed velocity, which could, in part, be due to the extra time off. I hope he can keep throwing and keep that arm warm in his 1.5-2 weeks off so as not to reset any progress he did make.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami