The Los Angeles Dodgers are without closer Craig Kimbrel for their series against the Chicago White Sox after the veteran reliever was put on the paternity list.
Kimbrel was put on leave Tuesday and according to MLB rules, a player put on the paternity list requires them to miss at least one day but no more than three.
That suggested Kimbrel would miss the entire series against his former team but would require him to return for the Dodgers’ three-game set against the San Francisco Giants that begins at Oracle Park on Friday.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed that is the plan for the right-hander, via SportsNet LA:
“He’ll take his three days and be back in that San Francisco series.”
Kimbrel is 0-2 with 11 saves in 12 opportunities, to go along with a 4.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Kimbrel’s most recent appearance resulted in being tabbed with a loss after allowing the New York Mets to take a decided lead in the 10th inning on Sunday.
The closer has had his share of struggles to begin the season, and the Dodgers came up with a plan to get him more usage in an attempt to fix his issues.
Roberts acknowledged part of the veteran’s struggles have come from his lack of usage and the team has a plan to fix that moving forward.
“I think for a closer, you’re always mindful of just pitching him in save situations, and I think what’s happened is there’s been a few times where he’s gone five or six days without pitching,” Roberts said.
“It’s just not beneficial when we have other guys that can pick up the slack, so it’s on me. And I talked to him. We’re not going to go more than three days without pitching him. If he doesn’t pitch for a series, he’ll be in the next day regardless of the situation.
“So I think it’s on all of us to make sure he pitches consistently. If we can do that, I think the performance will kind of mirror that.”
Kimbrel not using lack of work as an excuse
While Kimbrel agreed with Roberts that he needs to be utilized more, he also doesn’t want to offer that as an excuse for his poor outings.
“I think my last couple outings are what they are,” Kimbrel said after blowing his first save of the season. “Tonight, even if I am battling and stuff, I’ve still got to go out there and do my job. I’m not going to be perfect every time.
“I’m not going to feel great every time I go out there, but I’ve still got to do my job even if I don’t feel great. Tonight wasn’t one of those nights. I’ll show up tomorrow, ask for the ball, and be ready to go.”
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