June 18, 2024

Craig Kimbrel has had a difficult start to his career in Baltimore.
Craig Kimbrel, the former Philadelphia Phillies closer, is still giving his new team fits. It appears that the Baltimore Orioles may have had enough of the veteran’s late-inning shenanigans. According to recent sources, the Orioles (27-14) are already looking for a replacement among potential trade deadline sellers.

Kimbrel’s brief stint in Baltimore has been unpleasant to say the least. He just lost his close position after being inconsistent in save circumstances.

In 16 ninth-inning appearances, the 35-year-old has allowed eight runs (seven earned) on eleven hits and nine walks. He has three blown saves and was recently demoted to setup role for Yennier Cano. He has a 3.86 ERA this season, and while his strikeout percentage is up to 36.2%, his walk rate has risen to 13.0%.

However, he hasn’t been terrible this season. After blowing his first save opportunity as an Oriole, he sorted himself out for the majority of April. He went on a seven-save, two-win streak, missing only one opportunity before things fell apart at the end of the month.

Between April 28 and May 3, the veteran squandered two of three save opportunities, prompting Orioles manager Brandon Hyde to lose patience. On May 4, Hyde yanked Kimbrel just as he was about to squander another save against the Reds. He has not recorded a save since, however he has four holds.

Former Phillies closer Craig Kimbrel already getting kicked aside by the Orioles

Craig Kimbrel is reportedly linked to three National League East teams

 

Despite Hyde’s statement before their May 10 game that he intended to return to and remain with Kimbrel as the closer, according to MLB.com’s Jake Rill, Kimbrel entered the game in the seventh.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Baltimore management has already held internal discussions about finding another closer for their expected pennant drive down the stretch.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ Ryan Helsley, the Toronto Blue Jays’ Jordan Romano, and the Houston Astros’ Ryan Pressly are reportedly being considered by the AL East champions from the previous season.

After Kimbrel’s postseason meltdowns and late-season troubles last year, Phillies fans shouldn’t be surprised by this news from Baltimore. It’s much nicer to watch the decorated reliever crumble from a safe distance.

The Phillies relief corps has been among the most valuable in the majors despite some of the bumps they’ve had in the first six weeks of the season. With 2.2 fWAR, the second-highest, in the third-fewest innings pitched, they rank third in the league.

We would gladly prefer the current state of affairs with the Phillies over the Orioles bullpen.

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