Kimbrel added to All-Star roster as replacement

Righty's resurgence earns him 9th career All-Star honor

July 9th, 2023

MIAMI -- ’s resurgence with the Phillies continues.

He learned Saturday that he made the NL All-Star team, capping a remarkable first half. Kimbrel, 35, agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with the Phillies in December, hoping to reestablish himself following a difficult 2022 with the Dodgers.

He has done that, and much more.

“It’s very humbling every time,” Kimbrel said following Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Marlins.

Phillies manager Rob Thomson called Kimbrel to tell him the news. It will be Kimbrel’s ninth All-Star appearance. Before the game, Thomson called a meeting to congratulate his closer. He then read the list of pitchers who have made nine or more All-Star appearances in baseball history: Warren Spahn (14 times), Marian Rivera (13), Tom Seaver (12), Roger Clemens (11), Clayton Kershaw (1o), Tom Glavine (10), Randy Johnson (10), Steve Carlton (10), Justin Verlander (nine), Goose Gossage (nine), Juan Marichal (nine) and Carl Hubbell (nine).

“It’s a crazy list to be on,” Kimbrel said. “I try not to focus on accomplishments too much or what I’ve been able to do. I try to focus on what I want to continue to do. But it’s one of those 'pinch yourself to see if things are real' type stuff.”

Kimbrel, who replaced Milwaukee’s Devin Williams on the NL All-Star roster, became the eighth pitcher in baseball history to record 400 saves when he pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the Phillies’ victory over the Braves in Atlanta on May 26. He joined Rivera (652 saves), Trevor Hoffman (601), Lee Smith (478), Francisco Rodriguez (437), John Franco (424), Billy Wagner (422) and Kenley Jansen (409) as the only pitchers in the 400-save club.

Kimbrel earned NL Reliever of the Month honors in June, going 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and five saves in 13 appearances. He also struck out 21 and allowed only six hits and three walks in the month.

Kimbrel entered Saturday 5-1 with a 3.41 ERA and 14 saves in 14 opportunities this season. He had an 8.25 ERA in his first 14 appearances, but has put up a 1.08 ERA in his last 25.

“I had two rough outings in LA,” Kimbrel said, referring to the combined six earned runs he allowed over two appearances (one inning) in early May. “Coming into that time period, I was throwing the ball pretty well. It’s easy to look back on, but I’ve been able to turn it around. I’ve had a lot of support around me. These guys around me, ever since I showed up, they’ve wanted me to do well. That’s always nice to have and feel around you.”