It was yet another entertaining series against the Cardinals, as the Cubs swept them (again) in convincing fashion to close out a 6-1 home stand. A nice bounce back after stumbling on the road the week before. Of course, the biggest news of the week was the signing of Craig Kimbrel and we already have some good news after his first bullpen session.
Kimbrel met with the media on Friday and on Saturday the closer threw at Wrigley Field.
He’s now in Arizona at extended spring training and fans are obviously waiting to see when Kimbrel will be ready to join the bullpen. Early speculation gave a really optimistic timetable of 7-10 days, but realistically it was always in the 2-3 week range, with three weeks being the target.
Yet, Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy did say that Kimbrel not only looked good in his first bullpen session with the Cubs, but that he even looked ahead of schedule.
One more bullpen session, then facing live batters and then a trip to Iowa to pitch at Triple-A and then back to the show?!?!
Again, it’s always been projected that Kimbrel would join the bullpen by the last week of June at the latest. The Cubs will be on the road for the next week and then return for a 10-game home stand starting on June 18.
Maybe Kimbrel is finally added to the bullpen in time to welcome his former team to the North Side.
Theo Epstein struck early and the Cubs will have their new closer a full month before the trade deadline. Yet, that doesn’t mean the front office is done.
So, Kimbrel maybe in 2 weeks and another reliever as well before July 31? And(!) maybe Adbert Alzolay comes up later in the summer!?!?!
Hell yeah, that’ll work.