Performance bonds versus salaries and track records are always a heated debate in MLB.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are about to live it out with relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel.
He’s making $16 million this season and is a former All-Star closer, currently handling ninth-inning duties for baseball’s top team.
His performance for the season, however, does not justify such a valuable role.
He has a 4.57 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP in 41.1 innings.
Dodgers insider Blake Harris has a clear idea of what the team should do with him come playoff time.
“Not only is Craig Kimbrel expected to be off the mound in the 9th inning in October, there’s a legitimate case that he shouldn’t be on the playoff roster. Assuming everyone is healthy, he’s probably the 14th or 15th best option on the pitching staff,” he tweeted.
Not only is Craig Kimbrel expected to be away from the mound in the 9th inning in October, there’s a legitimate case he shouldn’t be on the playoff roster.
Assuming everyone is healthy, he’s probably the 14th or 15th best option on the pitching staff.
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) August 17, 2022
Kimbrel’s post-season spot is in jeopardy
Crude words, but filled with truth.
The Dodgers certainly have a lot of respect for what Kimbrel, a former stoppage pitcher, has achieved in baseball.
However, if they want to maximize their chances of winning (and believe us when we say they do), they’ll be better off without him.
Trusting him right now is a risky proposition.
He’s allowed points in four of his last five appearances and looks like a shell of himself.
Time flies for everyone, and he is 34 years old.
Maybe it’s time the Dodgers try him out in a low-leverage role to see if he can still be an effective pitcher without the stress of the ninth inning.
If he can’t, they might as well leave him off the playoff roster, because if there’s anything the Dodgers excel at, it’s developing and improving relievers.