Dodgers News: Craig Kimbrel Believes He Can Return To Closer Role

Originally published by

With Craig Kimbrel continuing to struggle, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a change at closer to remove him from the role in the ninth inning. The decision came with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Kimbrel is one of the most accomplished closers of his generation but has battled with inconsistency all year. “It is what it is. I’m not chasing saves, I’m chasing wins. We have a lot of wins to get,” he said of no longer being the Dodgers closer.

“There’s been a lot of save opportunities all year long that I’ve gotten the opportunity to do. Right now, I think this is an opportunity for guys to step into some roles.

“Just like my opportunity came to close out games young in my career, I think when you get the opportunity to step into that role, you have to embrace it but want it at the same time.

“So we’re going to see a lot of that here in the next couple of games. I mean, I don’t think I’m done closing. But right now I have to get right and get back to it.”

Kimbrel has converted 22-of-27 save opportunities this season behind a 6-7 record, 3.88 ERA, 3.41 FIP and 1.36 WHIP in 61 appearances.

With the 34-year-old no longer manning the ninth inning, the Dodgers have turned to a closer-by-committee approach and are likely to stick with that into the postseason.

Given the depth in the Dodgers bullpen and Kimbrel’s struggles, there is some question as to whether or not he will be included on the postseason roster.

Craig Kimbrel views demotion as ‘opportunity to get right’

In the wake of being demoted from Dodgers closer, Kimbrel is keeping a positive attitude. “I’m looking at it as an opportunity to get right,” he said.

“At this point, I think I’ve got something to go out there and prove. Show what I can still do, and I think this kind of frees it up to get in a new opportunity to make it happen.

“I’ll be the first one to say I’m not very happy with a lot of my performances up to this point. But I’m also the one to tell you that can change and it can get better. So I’m just focusing on that, making my pitches and doing what I can to get to the point where I can be effective every single time I get out there.”

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!