It’s been clear since Craig Kimbrel was activated that he was great at times, shaky at others.
Now he’s going to take a September break:
Theo: Kimbrel to 10-day IL with right elbow inflammation. David Bote recalled. MRI came back clean on Kimbrel. Eligible for activation Thursday.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 5, 2019
The fact that Kimbrel is eligible to be activated next Thursday means that the IL stint is being backdated three days — he last pitched Sunday at Wrigley Field, so he’ll miss the next seven games and can come back for the final game of the series in San Diego vs. the Padres next week.
David Bote will give the Cubs another righthanded bat off the bench. He was optioned to Triple-A Iowa last Saturday when Ben Zobrist was added to the 25-man roster, but it’s entirely possible he never reported. Bote didn’t play in Iowa’s last two regular-season games nor was he in their first playoff game Wednesday evening.
In Kimbrel’s absence I would think Rowan Wick might get the first shot at closing, since he’s been probably the Cubs’ most effective late-inning reliever lately and the only one who can throw 95-plus. In certain situations Brandon Kintzler or Steve Cishek, both of whom have closing experience, might wind up in the role.
As always, we await developments.