How was your week

Posted: June 8, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Speculation was that once the Major League Baseball draft was I the books it wouldn’t take ling for Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel to sign and they where right on the nose with that.

It was officially announced yesterday that Kimbrel has signed with the Chicago Cubs and that Keuchel has signed with the Atlanta Braves. Let’s see who got what.

Now if you listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast at all during the baseball off season I said over and over the Cubs needed to add bullpen help, but like always no one listened to me. I guess they had to learn their lesson on the field before they realized my idea wasn’t so bad.

Kimbrel received a 3 year deal for $43 million dollars from the Cubs. At first I thought they may have overpaid for him, but there where reports that the Tampa Bay Rays had upper their offer for Kimbrel to 3 years and $39 million dollars; so the Cubs had to out bid them and they did.

Now Kimbrel has been one of the best closers in baseball since his rookie year in 2011. He’s got a 50 save season under his belt and has never saved less than 31 games in a season. Kimbrel has also been one of the healthier pitchers in baseball and has appeared in at least 57 games in every season he’s pitched, but there have been some bumps in the road.

Kimbrel posted the second highest ERA of his career 2.74 last season, but his issues really showed up in the post season. While he did record 6 saves last post season in the 10 2/3rd innings he pitched he allowed 7 earned runs that’s an ERA of 5.94. Kimbrel gave up 9 hits and walked 8 batters last post season as well. Now Kimbrel’s struggles have been attributed to him tipping his pitches which is a correctable problem; so hopefully when he takes the mound for the Cubs he’ll be back tp his normal form.

The question now becomes how long will it take Kimbrel to get ready to join the Cubs bullpen? Kimbrel himself said he thought it would take two weeks while Cubs manager Joe Maddon went with three weeks when asked this question. Once Kimbrel is in the Cubs bullpen the other question will come up. Can he pitch on back to back days? Can he pitch more than one inning? Along with a few more questions; I’m sure.

It looks like a good signing for the Cubs as Brandon Morrow is still injured and while Pedro Strop did  solid job in the closer role he’s always been a better set up man though his career.

Did you like this signing?

I believe that it’s going to be easier for Kimbrel to get back into his role of closer than it’s going to be for Keuchel to be a top of the rotation starting pitcher like he’s been in his career. Just the last few seasons we’ve seen starters who have just reported to teams either at the end of spring training or right after spring training had ended and they’ve had rough seasons. Keuchel is joining a team with about 1/3rd of the season in the books. It makes you ask; what will the Braves get?

There was some talk mostly from Keuchel’s agent Scott Boras that Keuchel wasn’t going to sign a one year deal, but in the end that’s exactly what he got from Atlanta. Keuchel signed a 1 year deal for $13 million dollars with the Braves.

Keuchel made 34 starts last season and threw 204 2/3rd innings. The starts where a career high while the innings total was the second highest in his career. He did however give up more hits 211 than innings pitched and his strikeouts per 9 innings rate dropped a whole point. There where reports that Keuchel’s velocity was down and since he pitches to contact that could result in more hits off of him.

Now Keuchel is just what the Braves appear to need; a veteran top of the rotation starter. Don’t forget that Keuchel has not only won 20 games in a season, but is also a Cy Young ward winner. He posted an ERA of 3.74 last season, but that was in the American League and ERA’s are always higher there.

The question now just like for Kimbrel is; how long before Keuchel will be ready to join the Braves starting rotation? Keuchel is scheduled to make a start in Triple-A and it was agreed upon in his contract that he can only stay in Triple-A until June 18th. Even if Keuchel is injured he has to be called up and placed on the Injured List by June 18th. So expected Keuchel in the Braves rotation in 10 days.

Did you like the signing of Keuchel for the Braves? Who do you think made the better signing; Atlanta or Chicago?

Last night the Toronto Raptors took a 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals as they won Game 4 by a the score of 105-92. There are many ways to look at this, but the one thing I’m wondering is did this series just set up for Kevin Durant to be the hero?

Durant hasn’t played in a month due to a calf injury. His last game was against the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs on May 8th and after the Western Conference final series against the Portland Trail Blazers there where a lot of people convinced that the Warriors didn’t need Durant to win the title. I wonder if those people have changed their minds now.

Remember that we’re talking about a player who is considered by some to be the best player in the NBA. Don’t forget that Durant is a two-time finals MVP. He’s also won a league MVP. As well as being a 4-time league scoring leader. That’s a lot of offense for even a team like the Warriors to be missing.

It’s an interesting scenario for Durant who is headed into free agency once these finals are over. If he returns and Golden State runs the table; wins three straight games and their third title in a row; how big of a hero is he? Now if he returns and they still end up losing the title to Toronto he should still be covered because he returned and tried to help the team out while possibly being less than 100%.

In all honesty no matter which route Durant chooses to take it’s not going to impact his free agency at all as he’ll still be the top target for every team looking to add a top player. I guess maybe it’s just the visions of Willis Reed walking out of the tunnel or Michael Jordan being almost carried off the court with the flu that makes me wonder if Durant could have a moment like that over an entire three game span.

What do you think. Does Durant play in the NBA Finals?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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