Skip to main content

Is Craig Kimbrel's MLB Career Coming to an End in Philadelphia?

The Philadelphia Phillies signed Craig Kimbrel to help bolster the bullpen, but lately he has just been a liability. Is the end of his MLB career in sight?

Craig Kimbrel has made a name for himself over the last 14 years as one of the most prolific and dominant relief pitchers in MLB. It's that reputation that prompted the Philadelphia Phillies to dole out a one-year, $10 million contract to the 34-year-old this past winter. 

Kimbrel was supposed to be a key cog in helping bolster the Phillies bullpen. He was never going to be the closer, but a seventh or even eighth inning guy was the plan.

Instead, Kimbrel's ERA sits at 8.25 after 12.0 innings pitched this year. His WHIP of 1.750 and FIP of 6.02 spell even bigger issues. 

In his last two starts Kimbrel has allowed six earned runs over just 1.0 innings of work. In all fairness, Kimbrel did have eight scoreless appearances before the latest blowups.

But that is what you get with Kimbrel these days. He just hasn't been the absolutely dominant closer he became when he began with the Atlanta Braves and won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox. 

Now, Kimbrel can perform well in some situations, but is just as liable to give up a game with a horrific performance at the most inopportune times. 

In short, he can't be trusted to get the job done when it matters most. Something a manager must be able to depend on their veteran relievers to do.

It raises the question: Is Craig Kimbrel's MLB career nearing a close?

Shelf life for relief pitchers is short as it is. At 34 years old Kimbrel is already on the upper end of the spectrum. Take into account his previous three seasons where when he loses it, he looks incapable of recording even an single out while on the mound. 

How many other teams will take a chance on him not just financially, but with a roster spot?

He needs to right the ship and soon if he hopes to quiet the talk.

More From SI's Inside The Phillies:

  1. Phillies Star Bryce Harper Doesn't Hold Back on Thoughts About Joe Girardi
  2. How Mike Trout Will Join the Phillies
  3. Could Bryce Harper's Favorite MLB Player Join the Philadelphia Phillies in 2023?
  4. Could The Phillies Soon Be Playing in Wawa Park?
  5. Bryce Harper-Obsessed Japanese Baseball Star Wants to Play for Phillies
  6. Six Philadelphia Phillies Declare Free Agency
  7. Rumored Phillies Free Agent Target Just Opted Out of Contract
  8. Jimmy Rollins Describes Disrespectful Treatment by Ryne Sandberg
  9. Phillies Release 2023 Regular Season Schedule
  10. Picking the Phillies' All-Time Single Season Lineup

Make sure to follow Inside the Phillies Twitter!