clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Issues with Craig Kimbrel come down to delivery

The closer has started to “go rotational,” Dave Roberts says, leading to inconsistent pitching

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the deal with Craig Kimbrel? He’s allowed runs in five of his last seven appearances, including one blown save, and 12 baserunners over 6 13 innings. This is certainly not the Kimbrel the Dodgers were expecting.

But manager Dave Roberts doesn’t seem terribly concerned. He and his pitching staff have isolated a few issues for Kimbrel to work out, primarily in the closer’s delivery.

“We’re trying to get him to be more linear towards home plate,” Roberts said. “It starts a little bit with his setup where he closes himself off a lot, kind of subconsciously. And to come out of that, he gets really rotational. Then the breaking ball gets sweepy and the fastball is inconsistent.”

Roberts plans to continue giving Kimbrel consistent work, saying that Kimbrel won’t go more than three days without pitching to stay sharp.

Bill Plunkett at the OC Register has more.

Dodgers Links

For Tony Gonsolin, watching and learning from Clayton Kershaw has been the secret to a better season, writes Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic.

Mookie Betts makes the starting All-Star lineup on an early ballot from Matt Snyder at CBS Sports.

Speaking of Betts, Zachary D. Rymer at Bleacher Report says the outfielder is playing at his best — perhaps better than ever before.