With the 2023 regular season now nearly 30% complete, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Kimbrel aims for 400:
Not even two weeks after Kenley Jansen made history as the seventh player to reach 400 career saves, veteran righty Craig Kimbrel is poised to do the same. Kimbrel was long among the most dominant relievers in baseball, with a 1.91 ERA and 1.96 FIP through the first nine seasons of his career between the Braves, Padres, and Red Sox. Since then, he’s struggled to reach those same heights, with a 3.96 ERA and 3.74 FIP since the start of the 2019 season. This year, Kimbrel has a 6.35 ERA and 4.70 FIP to go along with five saves in 17 innings of work at the back of the Phillies bullpen. Over his past five appearances, he’s pitched five innings, picked up two saves and allowed just one run with a 12-to-1 K/BB ratio.
2. Buxton to be evaluated:
Twins slugger Byron Buxton was out of the lineup yesterday after being removed from Saturday’s game with knee soreness, and it seems we’ll know more about his condition today. Manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters (including Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com) that, while Buxton “probably could have stayed in and battled through” the soreness, the club will know more regarding Buxton’s potential return to the lineup today. The 29-year-old Buxton, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on that right knee last September, is slashing .235/.344/.484 with a 129 wRC+ as the club’s primary DH so far this season. Top propect Edouard Julien, who started at DH in Buxton’s place yesterday, would be among those to gain some extra at-bats if Buxton misses any time.
3. Roster moves ahead of White Sox/Guardians series:
Both teams are expected to make roster moves ahead of this evening’s game between the White Sox and the Guardians. Cleveland is expected to recall right-hander Hunter Gaddis to start tonight’s game, and a corresponding move will be necessary to clear space for Gaddis on the active roster. Gaddis has struggled through 19 2/3 innings across 5 appearances in the majors this season with a 6.86 ERA and a strikeout rate of just 14.6%.
Meanwhile, the White Sox have already placed today’s expected starter, right-hander Mike Clevinger, on the injured list with wrist inflammation. No corresponding move was announced, leaving the Sox with a roster spot to fill ahead of tonight’s game. Notably, most depth starter options who could fill in for Clevinger are not yet on the 40-man roster, with the exception of Jesse Scholtens, who has a 3.99 ERA in seven starts at the Triple-A level this season.