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Craig Kimbrel hasn’t had a great start to his career with the Chicago White Sox and it’s because Tony La Russa is making a big mistake with him.
As soon as it was announced that the Chicago White Sox were acquiring Craig Kimbrel from the Chicago Cubs, fans on the south side of the Windy City were jacked up. Kimbrel is a future Hall-of-Fame closer, as he’s been one of the best in the game for years.
However, things just simply haven’t gone according to plan with him at Guaranteed Rate Field. Kimbrel has appeared in 10 games for the White Sox, but he’s sporting a 5.79 ERA. So, what’s been the issue for him?
The White Sox using Craig Kimbrel in the 8th inning of games just isn’t working
With Liam Hendriks serving as the White Sox closer, this has forced Tony La Russa to go with Kimbrel in the eighth inning. As you can see from the tweet above from ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, that switch for the hard-throwing righty hasn’t worked out.
While with the Cubs, Kimbrel was a beast, sporting a 0.49 ERA in 39 appearances this season. With the Cubs looking to rebuild – which was made clear with them also trading Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo – sending Kimbrel away was a tough decision to make, but the front office pulled the trigger. Remember, they got former first-round pick Nick Madrigal as part of the return.
As bummed as Cubs fans were at the start when Kimbrel was shipped across town, they’re now seeing things not go so smoothly for the hurler in his new stomping grounds. While the White Sox are among the favorites to win the American League this season, these eighth-inning woes can’t keep occurring once the postseason arrives.
While La Russa has said there’s no closer controversy and Hendricks is his guy for the 9th inning, he may need to switch things up if Kimbrel continues to struggle.
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