An MRI revealed inflammation in Kimbrel’s knee but apparently no structural damage. The Cubs are hoping Kimbrel won’t miss much more than 10 days, but his knee will have to cooperate for that to happen. The move to the IL is retroactive to August 4.
This move came the same day the Cubs put All-Star catcher Willson Contreras on the IL with a hamstring strain. Contreras is expected to miss around four weeks.
Since signing a three-year, $43 million contract on June 7, Kimbrel hasn’t been the bullpen savior the Cubs were hoping for. In 14 appearances the 31-year-old currently boasts an 0-2 record with a 5.68 ERA, a 1.66 WHIP and nine saves in 11 opportunities. In just 12.2 innings the seven-time All-Star has allowed 13 hits, eight earned runs, four home runs and has walked eight while striking out 17. His fWAR is a dismal -0.4.
Part of this has to be due to Kimbrel not signing until midseason. He had to dive right into the season without going through spring training and easing himself into his role. But this is definitely not what the Cubs thought they were getting with they signed him.