Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Should White Sox Fans Be Worried About Craig Kimbrel?


Welcome to the Pinwheels and Ivy Podcast, Chicago’s #1 Cubs and White Sox podcast. Hosted by Matt Zawaski, Aldo Soto and Kevin Fiddler. Follow them on Twitter @SouthsideZo, @AldoSoto21 and @KFidds. Join the conversation live on stream every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. as the trio recap all the latest news and rumors about the Cubs and White Sox and cover the biggest stories around MLB. Download and listen to every episode on your preferred podcast app and follow the show on Twitter @PinwheelsIvyPod.

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You know things are back to normal when baseball fans start to freak out over spring training performances. This falls on both sides of the spectrum. Random guy goes 3-for-3 with a home run? Put him on the team! Veteran pitcher gives up three runs in one inning? Time to panic!

And yes, I do think most of the “freak outs” on social media are born out of sarcasm, but you know there’s a tiny grain of truth behind those thoughts. For White Sox fans, Craig Kimbrel’s spring training debut was the lightning rod that sparked some anxiety among the fan base this week.

We all know about the struggles Kimbrel had once he was traded to the White Sox from the Cubs last summer. He was brought to the south side to make the back-end of the bullpen truly dominant and instead Kimbrel recorded a 5.09 ERA in 24 games, allowing five home runs in 23 innings. Then, in his first postseason game with the White Sox Kimbrel gave up two earned runs against the Astros and another run in his last playoff outing.

Fans expected a trade during the offseason after the team picked up his option for 2022, I guess there’s still technically time for that, but right now Kimbrel is pretty much guaranteed to be on the Opening Day roster for Chicago. So, how did his first spring training outing go?

Spring training results do not matter, so really you shouldn’t worry about the rough stretch there from Kimbrel. However, there was one thing that caught my eye and the attention of other fans.

A 93-94mph fastball? That’s not the Craig Kimbrel we’re used to. Yet, this is where the calendar can play tricks on us. We see that it’s March 23, and think these guys should be close to being 100% ready, but then you do realize that players have only been in camp for a couple weeks and this was Kimbrel’s first action against actual hitters.

Kimbrel’s 33-years-old, a 12-year MLB veteran, he knows what he has to do to get ready for a season without overextending himself in spring training. That goes for guys like Lance Lynn as well. Lynn was touched up during his start this week, but we know what Lynn brings to the table.

Now, this isn’t to say that when Opening Day arrives that every single pitcher is going to be at 100%. Remember, this is a shorter ramp up period because of the lockout and you have to be especially cautious if you’re the White Sox, a team that has big expectations in 2022.

A reminder that you can win a 2022 White Sox or Cubs spring training hat if you subscribe to the Pinwheels and Ivy Podcast YouTube channel. Send us a screenshot on Twitter or Facebook showing us you subscribed and you’ll be entered into the drawing for the spring training hat.


This week on Pinwheels and Ivy Podcast:

Lucas Giolito arbitration fiasco
Spring Training overreactions
Eloy looking different at the plate
Adolfo and Céspedes swing breakdowns 
Contreras future with the Cubs
Cubs lying to fans about 2022 expectations 

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