Thoughts on the Red Sox Acquiring Craig Kimbrel - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Thoughts on the Red Sox Acquiring Craig Kimbrel

This actually happened on Friday night, but with the Paris attacks I’ve put writing about this on the backburner.

The Boston Red Sox acquired Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres for four prospects. 

Kimbrel will replace Koji Uehara as the team’s closer. Uehara took over as closer in 2013 and was a key part of their World Series title run. Uehara saved 25 games for a mediocre Red Sox team in 2015, but his season ended in August with a broken wrist. 

Despite Uehara’s effectiveness, he is 40 while Kimbrel is 27. 

Kimbrel began his career with the Atlanta Braves winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2011. He led the NL in saves every season between 2011-2014. On Opening Day, the Braves traded Kimbrel to the San Diego Padres. Kimbrel saved 39 games for a mediocre Padres team. He has 225 saves for his career. 

The one thing which concerns me is that Kimbrel’s strikeout numbers have been declining every year since 2011. That year he fanned 127 batters in 77 innings pitched. In 2015, Kimbrel struck out 87 batters in 59 1/3 innings pitched. Don’t get me wrong. He’s still striking out a batter an inning. But I wonder if those numbers will decline further against AL hitting. 

Uehara will be Kimbrel’s set up man. But if Kimbrel falters or gets hurt, the Red Sox have a pretty good Plan B.

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