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Dodgers: How Craig Kimbrel Fits Into the Bullpen

Where will the reliever slot in?



When one door closes, another opens. But the Dodgers have to be hoping that Craig Kimbrel is shutting the door on a lot of teams throughout the 2022 season. They landed him in a trade on Friday morning, which was great timing for reporters given that it is also April Fools Day. Stay safe out there from the safe rumors everyone. 

But this trade was very much not a joke. The Dodgers are getting an 8-time All-Star closer to add to their bullpen, and he drastically changes the makeup of their relief team immediately. So where will this guy fit in after his role changed going to the White Sox?

Dave Roberts has previously said that the Dodgers do not want one designated guy closing out games. When Kimbrel came over to the White Sox, he ended up being more of a setup man than a closer. He pitched in 24 games for them during the 2021 season and locked down just one save. 

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But before that, Kimbrel was one of the premier closers in the game. He earned 332 saves from 2011 to 2018, and he did it while striking out a lot of guys. So between him and Blake Treinen, there is a good chance that the competition is fierce. 

If Roberts’ comments about the role are true, there is a chance that it could be either guy depending on matchups. Kimbrel can get both sides of the plate out while Treinen has a little bit more of a difficult time with righties at times. But regardless of what direction they go, the Dodgers are in good hands with this bullpen. 

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