Roberts 'not even considering' removing Kimbrel as closer
Manager Dave Roberts stated Monday he's "not even considering" making a change at the back end of the bullpen, according to Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.
"I think he's earned that," the skipper said, adding it's "still (a) pretty easy" decision.
The legendary 34-year-old closer was torched for three runs on three hits while only recording one out against the San Diego Padres on Sunday. It's his latest collapse in a string of 15 games during which the eight-time All-Star has posted a 6.28 ERA.
Jake Cronenworth reached base after drilling Kimbrel with a line drive to the back. Following a brief injury delay, the veteran closer gave up the game-tying and go-ahead hits - the first runs the Padres had scored. At that point, Kimbrel was removed from the game in favor of Yency Almonte, who coughed up a two-run homer to Ha-seong Kim - insurance tallies the Padres needed.
San Diego reliever Taylor Rogers finished off the win and notched the save, giving back one run in the process.
While Kimbrel's been responsible for four losses, he's also authored an impressive 1.65 FIP - buoyed by a 34.8% strikeout rate with no homers - which could be part of the reason Roberts is willing to stick with the status quo.
The former AL and NL Reliever of the Year is in his first season with the Dodgers after being acquired via trade from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for outfielder AJ Pollock. For the year, he has a 4.78 ERA and 1.98 FIP while recording 14 saves with three blown opportunities.
- Phillies clinch 1st postseason berth since 2011, set NL playoff field
- Mets' Lugo wants Braves in playoffs: 'I think we're better'
- Blue Jays secure home-field advantage in wild-card series
- Severino throws 7 no-hit frames as Yankees beat Rangers, Judge still at 61
- White Sox manager La Russa steps down due to health issues