Phillies Pregame reading: Craig Kimbrel named as replacement for 2023 MLB All-Star Game

Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel, left, celebrates with catcher Garrett Stubbs after the final out in the team’s 5-4 win in a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, June 15, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Craig Kimbrel has once again made the MLB All-Star game. The Phillies closer learned that he would be added to the National League roster as a replacement just before Saturday’s contest in Miami.

2023 will mark the ninth time Kimbrel will be participating in the midsummer classic – and his first since 2021 when he played for the Chicago Cubs. He previously was named four times as the closer for the division rival Atlanta Braves and three times with the Boston Red Sox in the American League.

Kimbrel will be joining Nick Castellanos as players representing the Phillies during All-Star festivities in Seattle. And of course, Philadelphia’s manager Rob Thomson will be managing the National League squad as a reward for leading his team to the World Series last season.

Phillies Craig Kimbrel
Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel, delivers in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, May 26, 2023, in Atlanta. Kimbrel celebrated his 400th career save. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Kimbrel since joining the Phillies

Philly’s closer signed a one year, $10 million deal in the offseason after having a down year with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022. With his ninth appearance, Kimbrel becomes just the 13th pitcher and 3rd relief pitcher to make 9+ All-Star game appearances – joining some elite company:

  • Warren Spahn (14)
  • Mariano Rivera (13)
  • Tom Seaver (12)
  • Roger Clemens (11)
  • Clayton Kershaw, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton (10)
  • Justin Verlander, Goose Gossage, Juan Marichal, Carl Hubbell (9)

Earlier this season, Kimbrel became just the eighth pitcher in baseball history to record 400 saves when he shut the door against his original club, the Braves, back on May 26. The All-Star had a slow start to the season, with his ERA ballooning up to 8.25 over his first 14 appearances.

Since then, however, he has dominated with a miniscule 1.08 ERA over the next 25 appearance. He sits at 5-1 on the season, with a 3.41 ERA and is a perfect 14 for 14 in save opportunities. Kimbrel’s hot streak helped him earn NL Reliever of the Month honors in June. He went 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and five saves over 13 appearances last month while striking out 21. He only allowed six hits and three walks the entire month.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin