Monday, February 6, 2023

Dodgers Kick Craig Kimbrel from NLDS Playoff Roster

Bright Times News: Tuesday morning saw the official release of the Dodgers’ National League Division Series roster, which included a few surprises—the biggest of which was the absence of Craig Kimbrel.

Before the end of Spring Training, the team acquired Kimbrel to serve as their closer, but he never managed to have a successful season. Despite having 22 saves to lead the team, he lost his position as closer in September. He is not on the Dodgers’ postseason roster just three weeks later.

According to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, “It was a difficult conversation.” But without him, we wouldn’t be here. I can’t express how admirable Craig Kimbrel is enough because, as a probable Hall of Famer, it is not a simple topic. He should have been terribly disappointed, so he was.

This season, the seasoned right-hander did well against right-handers, holding them to a.576 OPS. However, Kimbrel had trouble versus lefties this season, who had a.778 OPS. The Dodgers decided to take a different route because they were looking for neutral pitchers, or relievers who could strike out both lefties and righties.

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Postseason ticket information

Simply put, Roberts stated, “We have other players that we believed had been more reliable and that fit up with these guys better.” Not to imply that it cannot alter. Craig will be prepared, at least that’s what we hope.

Blake Treinen and Dustin May were able to demonstrate their fitness for the roster but Kimbrel was unable to do so. Only five appearances have been made by Treinen this season, and none since September 5. But in the right-hander, the Dodgers have a potent new option in the bullpen. We’ll have to wait and see how his right shoulder holds up over a few episodes.

Regarding May, the Dodgers thought about keeping him off the NLDS roster so he could keep preparing for a potential NLCS. May tossed three innings in a practice game on Sunday, so he probably won’t be ready for the first two Division Series games. The only minor surprise among the position players was the selection of rookie Miguel Vargas over Hanser Alberto, a fan favorite.

According to MLB Pipeline, Vargas is the Dodgers’ third-best prospect. He has displayed some tools at the plate despite only hitting.170 since making his MLB debut on August 3. Vargas offers the Dodgers potential as well as an additional right-handed outfield option, which may be useful when facing Padres left-handers Blake Snell or Josh Hader in relief.

Alberto was signed this offseason to help the Dodgers hit left-handed pitching. The 29-year-old has battled a knee injury and hasn’t been able to put things together at the plate, posting a .680 OPS against southpaws. Alberto, who has been a positive addition to the clubhouse, will be allowed in the Dodgers’ clubhouse despite not being on the active roster.

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Bright Times News Desk
Bright Times News Desk
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