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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Dave Roberts reveals Craig Kimbrel’s status amid struggles

Craig Kimbrel in his Dodgers uniform

May 30, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) reacts following the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Craig Kimbrel’s struggles resurfaced Sunday as the Los Angeles Dodgers face new questions about their closer’s job security.

Kimbrel took over in the ninth inning of a 3-3 game on Sunday against Cleveland. He proceeded to allow two runs on two hits and two walks, with the Guardians ultimately winning 5-3. Kimbrel has now allowed ten earned runs in his last 12.1 innings dating back to May 16, raising questions about his performance.

Manager Dave Roberts had to answer those questions after the game, but he affirmed that Kimbrel remains his closer for the time being.

It would certainly be fair to question whether this will last. The Dodgers expect to contend for a title, and they had grown used to having Kenley Jansen’s reliability at the back end of their bullpen. Kimbrel, at least so far, has not been as steady.

Kimbrel’s issues date back to 2021, when a midseason trade to the Chicago White Sox marked the beginning of a rough few months. Kimbrel seemed thrilled to be moving to the Dodgers, but things don’t seem to be working out there either.

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