Cubs GM reveals plan for Craig Kimbrel’s timeline to hitch staff: ‘We’re not going to hurry it’

On Friday, the Chicago Cubs formally introduced the signing of nearer Craig Kimbrel. The information of his extremely anticipated signing was first reported on Wednesday, with Kimbrel signing a three-year contract worth a reported $43 million. Kimbrel will likely be with the Cubs via 2021, and his deal features a vesting-or-club choice for the ’22 season.

Throughout Friday’s introductory press conference at Wrigley Area, Cubs president Theo Epstein shared the particular plan for Kimbrel’s return to MLB motion:

“First step is going to throw a bullpen tomorrow, and then head out to [the Cubs’ complex] in Mesa, Ariz. and have a condensed spring training. We’ll throw a couple bullpens, face live hitters and we’ll get a gauge on where he’s at from there. We’ll listen to Craig and how he’s feeling. At some point, he’ll make a rehab assignment [at Triple-A Iowa]. We’re not going to rush it. It’s going to tempting to get him here as soon as possible, but we’re trying to plan this thing the right way so he can be in a position to succeed not just immediately but all the way through October. That’s going to be our guiding principal as we go.”

Cubs supervisor Joe Maddon told reporters on Thursday that he thought Kimbrel could be able to pitch in about three weeks.

“I would imagine in the position that’s he’s been in, he had some kind of a strategy of program mapped out,” Maddon stated. “The first thing you do is find out and then set up program. You think about a three-week window, normally it sounds right. Think about relief pitchers in spring training. Conventionally it would be like that kind of a window. But you’ve got to talk to the guy first and see what he’s been doing.”

Kimbrel advised reporters that he feels nice bodily.

“I’m healthy, I feel great,” Kimbrel stated. “I’m ready to get out there and face hitters. I’m far enough in my career that I can manage my body. So I’m just going to do that, see how it plays out and get back here hopefully on the timeline that we’ve set.”

Kimbrel grew to become a free agent after serving to the Red Sox win the 2018 World Collection, however he did not garner any critical curiosity till after the MLB Draft started, since any staff would no longer have to give up a draft pick compensation.

The Cubs are 34-27 and maintain a half-game lead over the Brewers within the NL Central after Friday’s 3-1 win towards the Cardinals.

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Katherine Acquavella

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