The Los Angeles Dodgers don’t know when sufficient is sufficient, huh? Irrespective of how a lot hearth energy they’ve, they’ll all the time have extra. Earlier immediately, the Boys in Blue traded for Chicago White Sox All-Star reliever Craig Kimbrel, giving up outfielder A.J. Pollock within the course of.
Clearly, it is a nice commerce for the Dodgers. Ever since Kenley Jansen signed a one-year, $16 million take care of Atlanta two weeks in the past, the Dodgers have been in search of a brand new nearer. Though the workforce already had a number of succesful relievers comparable to Tony Gonsolin, Alex Vesia, and Blake Treinen — who not solely has expertise as a more in-depth, however truly had 38 saves and a 0.78 ERA with Oakland in 2018 — the Dodgers needed somebody with newer success as a more in-depth and Kimbrel is certainly somebody who suits the invoice.
Kimbrel did wrestle throughout his brief time with the White Sox final season. After a resurgent begin to the 2021 marketing campaign with the Chicago Cubs that earned Kimbrel his eighth All-Star look, Kimbrel fell off after heading to the opposite facet of the Windy Metropolis. In 24 appearances, Kimbrel posted a 5.09 ERA and just one save throughout 23 innings pitched. Nonetheless, Kimbrel’s struggles might have been on account of his function with the Sox. Used primarily because the setup man for nearer Liam Hendriks, Kimbrel was unable to get accustomed to his new function. He’s all the time struggled when compelled into a job apart from closing. The one two seasons Kimbrel has recorded lower than 15 saves — 2019 and 2020 — are the one seasons the place Kimbrel has recorded an ERA over 3.50. Clearly, Kimbrel struggles are a motive he misplaced his closing function these seasons, however Kimbrel isn’t the kind of pitcher who can bounce again if thrust into a unique, much less very important function within the bullpen.
Kimbrel ought to slide in properly with the Dodgers’ bullpen, however there are some issues. Whereas Dodger Stadium is understood for being pitcher-friendly, it isn’t essentially the most spacious park throughout MLB. Plenty of residence runs are hit in Chavez Ravine, and with Kimbrel’s insanely excessive profession groundball-to-fly ball ratio of 0.63 — the Fifteenth-lowest charge of any certified pitcher reliever since 2010 — Kimbrel might have points with residence runs. In any case, Assured Price Area had a residence run issue of 124 in 2021, the identical issue as Dodger Stadium, whereas Wrigley had an element of simply 98.
As for the White Sox, Pollock ought to add some pop to their lineup which ranked nineteenth in residence runs in 2021. Pollock put up arguably one of the best season of his profession in 2021, racking up 21 dingers with a .297 batting common and 137 OPS+ (career-high). The issue with Pollock has by no means been manufacturing, relatively well being. Pollock has performed in not less than 130 video games solely twice in his profession and was despatched to the 10-day IL twice final 12 months. If wholesome, he’s a stellar addition to any lineup, however that’s a giant if.
Given Kimbrel’s lack of success with the White Sox and the truth that Hendriks is already slotted into the workforce’s nearer function, this transfer is sensible for Chicago. The Dodgers have the depth at outfield to switch Pollock and needed a real nearer to fill the opening that Jansen left when he signed with Atlanta. All in all, a good deal for either side that ought to assist each declare their division titles in 2022.