Atlanta Braves fans everywhere can stop worrying about Craig Kimbrel’s involvement in the World Baseball Classic. I know I wasn’t the only one. This guy is one of the most dominating closers in all of Major League Baseball, which means it is rare that he is playing for the Braves who don’t have a long history with great closers. The best closer in recent memory was also one of the big three starters, John Smoltz. Smoltz was great but Kimbrel has the potential to be a great closer for a long time. Such dreams seem to be hanging by threads when we see him pitching in high stress games for another team.
I enjoy seeing the world get a look at the Braves closer first hand. He put in a few good games of work. A couple of times he was lights out and once or twice he gave up some runs. There are no concerns about him giving up a little bit here and there in the WBC, however. This is still spring training and he likely would have given up more than that if he were pitching in Grapefruit League games. The main thing is that he is coming back home to Braves camp healthy.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it was an honor for Kimbrel to play for the USA and represent the country. That is awesome and I admire him and the others for it. The thing is, Braves fans reserve the right to be biting their nails not in concern for Team USA winning, but in concern for something happening to cause an injury to their closer. None of that happened however. While it would have been great to see Kimbrel close out the championship game for the .;USA, it is even better to see him come back to Braves camp healthy and close to ready to go.