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Craig Kimbrel removed from Dodgers’ closer role

Sportsnaut
Sep 19, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) throws in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced Friday that Craig Kimbrel, one of the most successful closers in major league history, will no longer serve in that role.

Roberts said he will implement a committee to fill the closer role as the regular season winds down but wouldn’t commit to that strategy in the playoffs.

“I’m going to keep Craig down tonight,” Roberts told reporters. “And my expectation is, yeah, I talked to him today. Right now the plan is to change roles and get him into a position to pitch in different innings in different situations.”

The Dodgers acquired Kimbrel on April 1 from the Chicago White Sox, sending AJ Pollock to Chicago. That trade came a few weeks after longtime Dodgers closer Kenley Jensen signed a deal with the Atlanta Braves.

In 57 appearances, Kimbrel has a 4.14 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP entering Friday night’s game. He also sports a career-low 27 percent strikeout rate and has blown five of 27 save chances.

–Field Level Media