Good news on the bullpen front, as the Cubs are going to be getting back a key arm tomorrow (with no rehab stint, so hopefully he’s good to go right out of the gate).
Expectation is that closer Craig Kimbrel will be activated from the IL on Sunday.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 17, 2019
Look for Kimbrel to rejoin bullpen tomorrow and be available for Sunday night LL Classic game in Williamsport.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) August 17, 2019
Kimbrel has been out a touch over the minimum IL stint with knee inflammation, but his mound sessions and fielding practice have gone smoothly this week, so the Cubs must feel comfortable rolling him out.
It’s obviously been a weird and not-yet-totally-successful year for Kimbrel, 31, who didn’t sign this offseason, and ultimately didn’t wind up joining the Cubs until the end of June. His numbers through 12.2 innings are garbage, but all his runs came in just 3 of 14 outings, one of which was that blowout in Pittsburgh when he was just getting in work, and another was the same series when the defense blew it. Really, he’s only had one bad outing – the double-homer blown save in Milwaukee (the one that generated the Theo and Jed pic) – but has otherwise been fine in the results column. How he’s *looked*, however, has been another thing. The velocity never really got to where you’d want to see it, and the command has definitely not been there. Understandable, perhaps, given his weird offseason and lack of a normal Spring Training ramp-up.
We’ll see if maybe he can really get it going down the stretch. Cubs could use a shut-down 9th, as you may have heard.