The Los Angeles Dodgers don’t know when sufficient is sufficient, huh? Irrespective of how a lot hearth energy they’ve, they will 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, this can be a nice commerce for the Dodgers. Ever since Kenley Jansen signed a one-year, $16 million cope with Atlanta two weeks in the past, the Dodgers have been on the lookout for a brand new nearer. Though the crew already had a number of succesful relievers equivalent to Tony Gonsolin, Alex Vesia, and Blake Treinen — who not solely has expertise as a better, however really had 38 saves and a 0.78 ERA with Oakland in 2018 — the Dodgers needed somebody with newer success as a better and Kimbrel is unquestionably somebody who matches the invoice.
Kimbrel did battle 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 could have been attributable to 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 task 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 purpose he misplaced his closing function these seasons, however Kimbrel isn’t the kind of pitcher who can bounce again if thrust into a distinct, much less 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. A variety of dwelling runs are hit in Chavez Ravine, and with Kimbrel’s insanely excessive profession groundball-to-fly ball ratio of 0.63 — the Fifteenth-lowest fee of any certified pitcher reliever since 2010 — Kimbrel may have points with dwelling runs. In spite of everything, Assured Charge Subject had a dwelling 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 should add some pop to their lineup which ranked 19th in home runs in 2021. Pollock put up arguably the best season of his career in 2021, racking up 21 dingers with a .297 batting average and 137 OPS+ (career-high). The problem with Pollock has never been production, rather health. Pollock has played in at least 130 games only twice in his career and was despatched to the 10-day IL twice final yr. 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 crew’s nearer function, this transfer is smart 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.