cheers for Dodgers supporters! It’s finally here—the day you’ve all been waiting for!
Craig Kimbrel has been demoted from the closer role with the Dodgers one day after giving up a go-ahead 9th inning home run, his fifth run allowed in four games.
Can Mookie win it? You Betts! pic.twitter.com/WA8fhN3vJO— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 23, 2022
Dodger fans won’t have to hold their breath any longer in the ninth inning of a one-run game, which is a bit unexpected given Kimbrel’s struggles to throw a clean inning for most of the year.
Who will fill the much sought-after 9th inning position is currently the biggest unknown. For the time being, according to Roberts, the team will adopt a closer-by-committee system as they likely use the upcoming weeks to identify potential game-winning pitchers for October.
Cardinals star Albert Pujols becomes fourth player to hit 700 home runs with three-run blast vs. Dodgers https://t.co/rd8IBW0Boa— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) September 24, 2022
Whether it’s in a setup job or throughout the middle innings, Roberts will continue to hunt for roles for the 34-year-old. Before throwing up a walk-off three-run home run last week, Kimbrel had pitched nine straight innings without allowing a run or a hit. The last straw in what has been a difficult first season in Dodger Blue was last night’s home run.
Regarding the postseason roster, Roberts opted not to commit.
For those Dodger fans who have been requesting a Kimbrel replacement all season, your wish has at least been granted for the time being. However, you’ll have to wait a few more weeks before learning whether Kimbrel will even be on the playoff roster.