Wagner says Kimbrel looks ready for closer role

Newson November 19th, 2010No Comments

With Billy Wagner injured, the Braves could turn to rookie fireballer Craig Kimbrel as their primary closer. Wagner, for one, believes the 22-year-old Alabaman is ready to handle the role, even in postseason pressure.

“The hardest person to hit is somebody who gets a lot of swings and misses,” Wagner said, and that description certainly fit Kimbrel.

A baby-faced strikeout machine with a 96-97 mph fastball, Kimbrel had five strikeouts in 2-2/3 perfect innings during the first two games of the National League Division Series against San Francisco. read more

Kimbrel relishes first big league save

Newson November 19th, 2010No Comments

PHILADELPHIA — Braves manager Bobby Cox provided a glimpse toward the future Sunday, when he rested Billy Wagner and gave Craig Kimbrel a chance to notch the first save of his young career. Extending his recent dominant run and further proving why he may serve as Atlanta’s closer next year, Kimbrel notched three strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning that capped a 6-3 win over the Mets. The inning might have been perfect had Ike Davis’ infield single not struck Kimbrel’s right foot. read more

Kimbrel scrambles to make way to Majors

Newson November 19th, 2010No Comments

WASHINGTON — Craig Kimbrel learned that it would be beneficial for any of Triple-A Gwinnett’s Major League prospects to have manager Dave Brundage’s phone number stored in their cell phones. As Kimbrel was eating in Buckhead around 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, he received a call from a number that he didn’t recognize. Fortunately, he opted to listen to the message provided by Brundage, who was calling the young reliever to inform him he had received his first call to the Majors. read more

Craig Kimbrel’s First Major League Save!

Newson November 19th, 2010No Comments

From BravesLove.blogspot.com – Kimbrel is interviewed on getting his first save:

“That was exciting. My heart was racing. Pretty cool.”

You didn’t look nervous

“Well, I was on the inside. At least I didn’t show it on the outside.”

Surprised you were called on, or did you know Wagner was getting a day off?

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Kimbrel (3 Ks) impressive in first save opportunity

Newson November 19th, 2010No Comments

NEW YORK – After deciding to rest closer Billy Wagner for one day before the Phillies series, Braves manager Bobby Cox turned to Craig Kimbrel to pitch the ninth inning Sunday with a 6-3 lead. It was the first save situation for the hard-throwing rookie, and he responded splendidly, striking out three of four batters faced. read more