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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Craig Kimbrel may already lose Cubs closer role

Once one of MLB’s elite closers, Craig Kimbrel’s hold on the role for the Chicago Cubs is becoming increasingly tenuous.

Cubs manager David Ross admitted that he and Kimbrel are discussing the role going forward, and he didn’t deny it when asked if he had considered removing Kimbrel as closer.

“That’s a good question. I appreciate you asking that,” Ross said, via Jesse Rogers of ESPN. “I’m not sure on that. I’ll get back to you on that. … I’m in the middle of conversations with Craig. We’ll have those with him first.”

Ross added that the organization wants to help Kimbrel get back into form, adding that they “need him to be good” for the season to be a success.

Kimbrel signed a $43 million deal with the Cubs last June, and has struggled since. His 6.53 ERA in 23 appearances in 2019 was by far the worst of his career. The hope was that a full offseason of preparation would help the 32-year-old look more like his old self, but struggled in his first appearance before giving up two home runs in a non-save situation Friday night.

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