Craig Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel Minor League Statistics & History – Baseball-Reference.com.

Throws hard, bad control. Kimbrel, a short righthander from Huntsville, was drafted from a junior college in the third round in 2008, and has rocketed up the system basically because nobody can hit him: he’s allowed only 53 hits, only two of them homers, in 110 1/3 career minor league innings, while striking out 180. Simply put, he’s too good for the minor leagues.

But there’s a problem. Kimbrel has walked 65 men in those 110 1/3 innings pitched, and at times completely loses the strike zone, highlighted by his 28 walks in 26 1/3 innings at Myrtle Beach last season. Pitching at four levels last year, he also threw ten wild pitches. It’s very hard to use a short reliever with control difficulties like this in any role but closer, because you don’t want to bring him in with runners on base. His control has been better so far this year, but it’s very early and the sample size is small.

If Kimbrel can harness his control, and if he can stay healthy, he could be awesome, and I have little doubt that he will have a significant major league career. The question is if that’s going to be in Atlanta or two or three stops down the road. I hope he makes it, not only for the Braves’ sake but to fill the vacant closer spot on the all-time all-Alabama team.

216 thoughts on “Craig Kimbrel”

  1. melky does nothing well. Im tired of seeing scrubs on the field daily and knowing that we have nothing to replace them with. Could you imagine writing Melky a check at the end of the year for $3 mil and saying thanks?

    I guess Bobby thinks Nate is more likely to clear the pitcher and thats why he’s 8th

  2. i don’t know how legit jayson stark’s posts are, but via mlbtr, he says we’re “actively looking” for offense.

  3. Hey Mac,

    How is baseball regarded at Bammer? Looks like a solid (if unspectacular) program.

    Anybody watch the Texas v. Baylor game the other night? The atmosphere was incredible in Austin. Felt like a football game.
    —————

    Just now beginning to realize the scope of damage to Nashville. Unbelievable.

  4. Because the coverage of Nashville was wonky I’ve not really gotten a feel for how it compared to the big-ass flooding in Atlanta not that long ago (I know of a lot of heavily damaged houses and such from that).

  5. Someone said you could swim from the balcony to the stage at the Grand Ole Opry.

    I think Nashville got hit a LOT harder than Atlanta.

  6. Is it fair to say he’s the best bullpen arm we’ve developed and kept (Feliz) since Wohlers?

  7. Braves:

    Infante – SS
    Prado – 2B
    Jones – 3B
    Glaus – 1B
    Diaz – LF
    Ross – C
    Cabrera – RF
    McLouth – CF
    Hudson – P

    Nationals:

    Morgan – CF
    Kennedy – 2B
    Zimmerman – 3B
    Dunn – 1B
    Willingham – LF
    Rodriguez – C
    Desmond – SS
    Bernadina – RF
    Olsen – P

  8. @4. It’s a scale much larger than Atlanta, which occurred in relatively low population density areas. A significant part of downtown Nashville was under several feet of water at some point.

  9. My son and I were having a steroids discussion and HGH came up. I find I can’t answer why HGH is bad for humans. Can anyone help?

    Thanks!

  10. For what its worth Jayson Stark’s new article talks about how the Marlins are probably about to call up Mike Stanton. If they do he said look for Stanton to play right, Cody Ross to play center, and either Maybin or Coghlan to play left. The loser of the left field battle would either get traded or sent to the minors.

    What’s the chances we’d want either, and what they would want back in return would be worth it?

  11. Sickels has a first round and supplemental round mock draft up and his projection for the Braves first pick should surprise no one although I’d really love to add a bunch of hitters in this draft.

    35) Atlanta Braves: Cam Bedrosian, RHP, East Coweta HS, Senoia, Georgia Home state and home team connection for a live-armed pitcher, a perfect fit for the Braves

  12. Between the two, I’d much rather have Maybin. Their minor league numbers are very similar, but Maybin was two years younger per level. And I don’t trust Coghlan’s 2009 — looks more like a fluke season than a breakout.

    But neither would supply the power that’s our real need. Baserunners we got.

    Edit: Wow, a friend of mine used to babysit Cam Bedrosian. I’m old!

  13. #10 – side effects of HGH use per Mayo Clinic

    swelling
    arthritis
    high blood pressure
    carpel tunnel syndrome
    headaches
    bloating
    muscle pains
    abnormal bone growth
    hardening of the arteries
    diabetes

  14. Braves should see what the Nats would want for Willingham or Dunn. Dont know if they would move either, depends on if they believe they have a legit shot with Strasburg coming up soon

  15. rome has already played today and schafer didnt start. anyone know the reason?

  16. I would love to have Chris Coughlan. He’d already be our best outfielder, and he’s only been playing the OF for 2 seasons.

    Wren, find us a hitter!

  17. No one from this division is going to bail us out. Not before the allstar break certainly, and not if they have a better record than us, which they all currently do.

  18. Chip just called Scott Olson a “talented, young left-hander.” I mean, yeah, he’s in MLB, but…

  19. Sick Chip actually sounds better than regular Chip. More resonant. The medication helps bring down the annoyance level, too.

  20. Hgh has no effect on muscle growth… Zero. You won’t get muscle hypertrophy using hgh

  21. end of the 2nd… due up in the top of the 3rd: 192, 185, and 182 BA’s!

  22. And Diaz, McLouth, and Infante…. And MLB.com gameday, for that matter.

  23. Yeah its a myth that hgh has the same effect as an anabolic steroid. Pharmacologically hgh has no direct mechanism of action on skeletal muscle

  24. Any of you good ole boys know a fix for this? http://imgur.com/txi1b

    I can pop it back in, but the air against the car pops it back out while driving. I’m thinking some sort of bonding agent, but I don’t want to go applying something without getting some opinions. I guess things like this crop up at 140,000 miles.

  25. Seriously, are the Braves about to get no-hit for the 2nd time this season? And by Scott Freakin’ Olsen? Really? I mean, Jimenez was one thing, but Olsen?

  26. no hit through 5 by olsen is worse than being no hit through 9 by jimenez.

  27. Olsen’s getting an awful lot of help from the home plate umpire. Seriously brutal.

  28. The Braves suck.

    The homeplate umpire sucks. (Haven’t seen anything quite like this in a while. Unbelievable.)

    And oh yeah, Chip sucks. I’m going to kill him one day, as I’ve told you all many, many times.

  29. is it because we watch mostly Braves games … or does bad, awful stuff like an aging catcher who is now off the juice hitting his 1st HR of the year only happen to us?

  30. Ump just completely jobbed Infante. Neither of those first two pitches were strikes. I’m not usually one to complain about umpiring but this is beyond absurd. What the hell is wrong with this guy?

  31. This is the ghost of Eric Gregg. And he’s calling balls on the same pitches for Huddy.

    He has money on the Natinals.

  32. Miller is, at this point, trying to make a point to the hitters. I sense Bobby and/or one of our hitters getting tossed.

    Miller is entering Bill Hohn territory.

  33. The next Brave to go down looking, Bobby’s getting tossed, as he should. I can feel it. It’s got all the ingredients of a contrived Cox umpire badgering: Ump legitmately fucking us over, down 1 in a close game, Braves are sleep walking and need to be woken up, etc.

  34. I hate Chip Caray. In Pudge’s first AB, he was talking about his HR decline and how he hadn’t hit one yet this season.

    Chip is a reason this team is so terrible.

  35. That was a pretty good play there by Prado. But I think a better second baseman probably makes it in a more traditional fashion.

  36. Signs that the team is bad:
    1. a 9 game losing streak
    2. Getting no-hit twice in less than 3 weeks.

  37. I don’t think I’ve been this frustrated watching a baseball game in years.

  38. This team is going to get no-hit again.

    But Cox will say it’s just a coincidence that both pitchers just happened to have their best stuff working against the Braves, specifically. The offense is fine.

  39. So I just got home and turned the game on. No hit again? really???

    Frank Wren will soon be doing his Kevin Bacon/Animal House parade chaos “ALL IS WELL” routine to try and calm the angry masses.

  40. Jon K,
    Run down to the Natinals dugout and yell something about the no-hitter, please.

  41. So if you’re a Braves pitcher, does it bother you that it doesn’t matter at all how you pitch? I mean, unless you throw a shutout you have about a 3.5% chance of getting a win.

  42. 64 — Make sure to enjoy your Keystone Light and chicken wings while screaming “you have a no-hitter” as loud as you can.

  43. If we get no hit, I am for trading for a bat and soon. I am not a panic guy, but this team really needs some pop in the middle of the order, and if we are going to contend, we need to get that bat soon.

  44. I’d probably tell Wren “You really gotta make a trade and get some offense in here.” And then I’d volunteer to be traded.

  45. I’m pretty sure we need to trade for a bat (or two) regardless of whether this turns out to be a no-hitter.

  46. Honestly, did these guys just give up when Heyward wasn’t able to play tonight?

  47. OK, those of you watching–was that Diaz at-bat as bad as Gamecast made it out to be?

  48. I’m amazed that Desmond didn’t catch Ross’ liner. Or that Miller didn’t call him out for stepping out of the batter’s box.

  49. @88
    yes
    all three of his K’s have been way out of the strike zone
    i’m watching it on SS and that final K was a good 5 inches inside

  50. @88 all three Diaz strikeouts were. To the naked eye and confirmed on the replay.

  51. Is there a single guy on the team other than Diaz who wouldn’t have absolutely lost his sh*t and gotten ejected after thrice being wrongly called out on strikes? I absolutely love Diaz, but I kinda wish he’d blown up there.

  52. @93- According to that Fox graphic they put up onscreen in the Braves broadcast, it was 6 inches inside.

  53. Dunno if that’s Snitkering so much as a catcher running in a situation where one run doesn’t make that much difference.

  54. No, there was no Snitkering. The right fielder was playing pretty shallow and he was all over that single. Ross would have been out at home — he’s not particularly fast for a catcher. It was the right call to hold him at third.

  55. Does Jim Riggleman know you can make a substitution without making a double switch? Or did he go to the Tony LaRussa School of Overmanaging?

  56. The Nats announcers said that pitch was “right down Broadway” even though it was clearly inside on the K zone.

  57. I know Clippard is pretty good and everything, but wouldn’t you want to keep the lefty-on-lefty matchup with Olsen against Heyward? Did I miss something here?

  58. Random note: When I met and hung out with Kelly Johnson a couple years ago (great, nice guy. We have a common friend. Not so good at pool, though. 8) ) I asked him who his least favorite player in all of baseball was. He said Scott Olson. Said he didn’t like hitting against him, but the main reason was that he is a huge douche of a person. Apparently this was a commonly held opinion on the Braves.

  59. Give the Melkster some credit– he really did a nice job running the bases there. Great jump and he kept the play at home from being close. Practically scored ahead of Ross.

  60. True enough, Chip. Melky hustled there. And the ball he hit that Ryan Zimmerman threw away was scalded down the line — Zimmerman did a good job just getting it.

    Ah, damn it, Omar. Hit it hard but right at the shortstop, whereas if he’d just lifted it to the outfield we’d have gotten the go-ahead run.

  61. Chip Caray: “And the J-Hey Kid, on Willie Mays’s birthday, no less … Say, ‘Hey,’ indeed.”

    I mean…

  62. So what’s the over under on # of days till Heyward’s average passes Prado’s?

  63. @130- I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that if you have a Wikipedia page documenting your doucheness, you’re a major douche.

  64. Do you think we could dress Jason up in disguises and keep pinch hitting him every inning? Like maybe a variety of mustaches or something.

  65. He’d have to crouch to play the middle infielders, and we’d need a lot of pancake makeup… and if we couldn’t afford even one other decent outfielder, what’s the chance that we’ll spend money for the props he needs?

  66. yes Chip, Bobby did a great job of managing that last inning.

    Bobby: “Hmmm”
    *looks into dugout, sees a big red neon sign that says “Hall of Famer” on Heyward’s head*

  67. Chip: “Martin Prado….CHECKS HIS SWING!!!…and fouls it away in self-defense…” I’m coming to the conclusion that not even cold medicine can stop his suckiness.

  68. @144:

    Heyward made an out one time, so I think I’d go with the latter.

  69. Did they just hype the Bobby Cocks (6-game) Package on SportSouth?

  70. Well, bringing in McCann would mean that the Natinals would pull this struggling reliever for the LOOGY.

  71. Twice a flyball would win it and we fail.

    When does Heyward’s spot come up again? Oh, what?

  72. Yikes. Good thing we’re going into the Philly series with two of our best starters — Lowe (5.18) and Kawakami (5.47). Is it a bad sign that the best starter of the 3 for the Braves has been a middle reliever all year?

  73. can we spraypaint heyward, cut his legs off to his knees and pretend he’s brooks conrad?

  74. How are the Nat fans annoying? When I went there were probably more braves fans.

    This team is truly amazing? How does TP keep his job?

  75. Welp, you’re not gonna win many games with three of your best hitters out of the game. And Melky in RF. Sigh…

  76. With the start he’s off to, Heyward will be the first player in history to hit a 5-run homer.

  77. I dont feel like scrolling through the comments since I just got here, but a couple of things

    this team sucks
    why didnt McCann hit for Ross vs the RH
    last two innings and a guy at 3rd with 1 out and dont score
    Bobby is useless
    Melky is useless
    our offense is putrid

  78. If McCann hit the lefty would have come in. And Clippard was struggling. Ross versus righty with zero command is likely as good or better than McCann versus lefty who we don’t know if he’s on or not.

    McCann wouldn’t have gotten the job done anyway. McCann has been putrid lately.

  79. Id still take my chances with McCann, our cleanup hitter and best hitter on the team the last two years, over Ross no matter the matchup

  80. Not only is this team not very good but they’re also incredibly boring to watch.

  81. I just disagree csg. All we needed was a flyball. Ross just should have gotten it done. McCann against Burnett has a greater likely hood of strike out than Ross against Clippard when you could see Clippard had no idea where the ball was going.

    Ross just didn’t get it done.

  82. Also, the game was tied, in the ninth, and your catcher, McCann and a defensively useless Hinske are your last players on the bench. I don’t think you can pinch hit for position players when you’re down that far. You have to save those guys to hit for pitchers.

    And if you force Riggleman to bring his only lefty in, you give him a shot to use him against McCann, turn Melky around to his weaker side, McLouth, AND Hinske, who would have been the only guy left to hit for the pitcher.

    I think staying with Ross was the right move. He just didn’t get the job done.

  83. #189 – Ross is hitting .269, BMAC is hitting .243…with that difference Ill take the 4 time allstar/ 3 time silver slugger. Either way, this team is awful and its fine if people disagree with me. I thought it would be the right move to make, but I understand why it wasnt done also

  84. Yeah I gotcha. I wouldn’t have been jumping up and down angry if McCann had come up to hit. I’m probably just arguing because I hate this team.

    Goodnight all.

  85. anyone got the feeling of a 4 game losing streak on its way? Lowe, Medlen, KK vs the Phils and a chance of just 1AB per night for Heyward?

    Wren should call about Carlos Lee? yes, I know he sucks right now also

  86. yeah theyd need to take Lowe or KK along with any prospects we’d send in the deal

  87. The final strike call on Diaz’s third K was criminal. The ball was well inside and low. I don’t usually complain about a strike call, but it was like the ump was doing his best to keep the no-hitter alive. At least one of the two other strike out calls on Diaz was also bad.

  88. I included a “/Atros FO” tag at the end, but it didn’t show up. Guess it thought it was a real tag.

  89. hell lets get Bourn/Lee/Berkman/Oswalt for Lowe/Nate/Melky/Glaus

    just saw this post on the ajc, sad thing its true

    “It’s not Bobby’s fault that he can’t polish a turd. We just need better turds.”

  90. Another disappointing series loss. And to be that close to another no-no makes it even worse.

    Admittedly, I’m no fan of Frank Wren (or Bud Selig or Liberty Media, for that matter). But I’ve seen folks say several times essentially “Wren made the right moves given the budget”.

    At what point does Wren’s lack of track record kick in and the Braves determine that he’s not the trigger-puller we need, given the situation? Lack of execution can seemingly go on only so far.

    Other teams have certainly gotten more traction out of less investment. How long does this crap go on?

    signed-

    the frothing knee jerker

  91. Braves’ offense if Heyward were not on the team:

    98 R, 187 H, 42 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 81 RBI, 111 BB, 164 SO

  92. I wonder if the entire Braves philosophy is flawed. You can emphasize pitching when you have guys like Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz in their prime, but if you keep looking for once-in-a-lifetime pitchers at the expense of hitters, I would think that would fail eventually. Plus, baseball without offense is boring.

    Just throwing that out there. I’m going to have a beer or twelve.

  93. @211 It’s not flawed if our top paying hitter is hitting like a top paying hitter.

  94. Well, once upon a time, we had three guys in the running for the Cy Young Award. Do we have any right now? And the focus on pitching has exacerbated the fact that we can’t develop hitters.

    Again, I’m well into the middle part of that twelve beers (or bottle of Shiraz).

  95. Can’t develop hitters? How about Jason Heyward and Brian McCann?

    Although I hate to sound like Pollyanna Bobby Cox, he is right. Sometimes things just don’t go your way. How often do you see a ground ball sneak through and get a run in and people talk about what a great clutch hit it was? Last night, both those balls were hit right at the shortstop. I’m as frustrated as anyone the way the team is playing, and, clearly, there are serious holes in the lineup, but there is a lot of unexplainable randomness in baseball. I watch the Nats and a lot of things have been going right for them-not just against the Braves; balls hit right at fielders, guys making miraculous plays. It was just the opposite last year. I don’t know how good the Braves are–I suspect they are no more than a middling good team–but sometimes things just go wrong.

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