I can’t even do the jokes, man. They’re just all too spot on at this point.
Craig Kimbrel dealt with some elbow inflammation last weekend, was put on the Injured List, and was eligible to come off on Thursday. The Cubs did the usual song and dance about how hopefully that’s when he’ll be ready to go, it’s looking positive, MRI was clean, etc., etc.
Lo and behold, he ain’t coming back on Thursday:
Kimbrel unlikely to be activated Thursday, but “responding well”
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) September 11, 2019
Kimbrel progressing. Won’t be ready before the weekend at the earliest.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) September 11, 2019
If Kimbrel takes another couple days and actually comes back healthy and impactful for the stretch run and the (hoped-for) postseason? Shrug. You won’t really care about these extra days. All will be fine and well.
But the reality is that the length of Kimbrel’s absence for an elbow issue, when he already had a knee issue, when he already had velocity issues, and when he already had an unusual offseason and ramp-up, makes you all the more uncertain that he’s going to be an impact closer the rest of the way this year. Next year? Sure. I’m not too concerned. But this year? As I’ve said before: the Cubs need to be making those back-up plans for the late innings.