Hyde says Orioles closer Craig Kimbrel was fine with change in role - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Hyde says Orioles closer Craig Kimbrel was fine with change in role

Photo Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


BALTIMORE—Orioles manager Brandon Hyde talked to Craig Kimbrel about a temporary move away from the ninth inning on Friday. When Kimbrel talked with the media on Friday, he hadn’t spoken with Hyde and thought he was still the team’s closer.

“We had a great conversation,” Hyde said. “He was wonderful. We put the plan in place there.”

After failing to convert four of his last five save opportunities, Kimbrel pitched a perfect seventh inning on Friday night in the Orioles’ 4-2 win over Arizona.

Hyde isn’t sure how many times Kimbrel will pitch before he moves back into the closer’s role.

“I’m kind of taking it day-to-day,” Hyde said before Saturday afternoon’s game against the Diamondbacks. “I was really happy with how he threw the ball last night. Helped us win the game. Pitched in the seventh inning in a one-run game, threw the ball great.

“The door’s not closed on anything. We need him to be Craig Kimbrel, and we need him to be the lockdown guy he’s been his entire career. I’m just trying to get him to feel as good as possible, and then we’ll go from there.”

Kimbrel, who will turn 36 on May 28th, is tied for fifth with Boston’s Kenley Jansen on the all-time saves list with 425.

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