The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Kimbrel reveals '16 injury that held him back
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:50am  

Kimbrel reveals '16 injury that held him back

After striking out all three batters he faced against the Rays Monday, Craig Kimbrel talked about the differences between last season and this one.

“I think last year I was battling through some things and maybe got in some bad habits,” he said. “Right now, everything feels great. Hopefully I can keep it going.”

The immediate assumption was that Kimbrel was referencing his knee injury, the one that required midseason surgery and forced him to miss about a month.

Not so, according to the closer.

“I banged my finger up a little bit last year and it kind of got me into some bad habits, yanking the ball,” Kimbrel told WEEI.com.

As it turned out, the biggest issue for the reliever in his first season with the Red Sox was dealing with an injury to his right index finger, suffered while working out in late April.

“You’re going to adjust off of it. You can do that to a certain extent,” explained Kimbrel. “You have to in this game. You’re not going to feel the same every time out there. There are going to be times where you do one thing where you overcompensate for another thing, but over the course of a season you can into some bad habits doing that.”

It was an issue that those outside the clubhouse weren’t aware of, but the Red Sox were certainly keeping close eye on.

“He obviously pitched with it,” said Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis. “But with pitchers, with hands and fingers, it doesn’t take a lot sometimes to cause you to change a little bit of pressure that alters the release of the ball. I think when you look at his strength and his power, he’s able to compensate. Obviously it’s a lot more natural where he’s at right now.”

“Knowing he was dealing with it, only he knows how much it was affecting him,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “There was constant checking in with him to make sure it wasn’t putting him in a position to create further discomfort or take away from his performance, overall. We knew it was there, but to his credit he never used it as a distraction more than it might have been.”

Ironically, Kimbrel points to his knee injury as somewhat of a blessing.

Not only did the time down allow for the finger to properly heal, but gave the closer a chance to breakdown the bad habits he had fallen into partly because of the ailment.

“It did [help with the finger]. And the time with my knee really helped me heal mentally, as well,” he said. “We looked into what I was doing wrong. We were making sure my knee was healthy, but we also made sure my mechanics were going in the right direction.

“We looked at release points and yanking the ball. It was just something I did all year. Not to say I won’t have some games where I won’t do it this year, it’s just trusting my stuff and so far I’ve done that.”

What Kimbrel has been delivering this season is undeniably more powerful than what had been a somewhat up and down 2016 campaign.

Yes, he did blow his first save Thursday when allowing a second-pitch home run to Kendrys Morales in Toronto. But the fact he struck out five of his next six batters offered more proof of why Farrell trusted him to follow up Chris Sale in the first place.

Kimbrel has now faced 34 batters and struck out exactly half of them, walking just two along the way.

Thanks in part to a finger that works properly, and a year under his belt in Boston, the Red Sox have clearly found themselves an improved game-ender.

“We just dealt with it. There was nothing we could do about it,” Kimbrel said of the finger.

“Anything that happened last year I can’t go back and change it. Going into this year, I know there are going to be new obstacles. That’s part of the game. I’m just trying to enjoy each day I’ve got for what it is and not really worry about the other stuff. I have to worry about today and this year. I can’t get caught up in what happened last year, going out and trying to prove anything. All I can do is show up, play ball and do what I can do.”




Audio On Demand

MMQB's Peter King with Da…

MMQB's Peter King with Dale, Holley and Keefe

We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.

Phil Perry, CSNNE on the Patriots and NFL free agency

Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency

NFL SUNDAY...the final segment of the year -- 2-5-17

Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.

LaVar Ball with Dale, Hol…

LaVar Ball with Dale, Holley and Keefe

Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.

Kirk and Callahan- Will Isaiah Thomas win a title in Boston? 3-7-17

Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.

Kirk and Callahan- Celtics lose after Thomas mishandles the ball 3-6-17

Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.

Former Red Sox GM Theo Ep…

Former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein with Dale, Holley and Keefe

Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe catch-up with former Sox GM Theo Epstein who is in town with the World Champion Cubs to take on the Sox this weekend.

Manager John Farrell with Dale, Holley and Keefe

We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 27: Craig Breslow defends Tom Brady

Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.

The 1972 Bruins

Highlights

Saturday Skate - Bruins and the All-Star break

Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break

Saturday Skate - Firing Claude

Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian

K&C - Tony Robbins has so…

K&C - Tony Robbins has some inspiring quotes; Curtis is going to see Robbins in Boston 4-28-17

Gerry and Kirk read some inspiring quotes from Tony Robbins and Curtis is all set to see the man himself in June.

K&C - Tony Robbins has his followers walk over burning coals; Pat from Rhode Island gave Tony Robbins $20k 4-28-17

Tony Robbins fans were sent to the hospital after getting injured walking over coals and Pat is a massive fan of Tony Robbins.

K&C - Tom Brady is appearing with Tony Robbins in Boston 4-28-17

Gerry, Kirk and Arcand react to Brady getting into a business relationship with Tony Robbins.

OMF - Lots of teams trade…

OMF - Lots of teams traded for QBs...not the Patriots 4-28-17

Night 1 of the draft has passed and Jimmy Garoppolo is still here. The general consensus on the Bears was that they screwed up their draft. And Larry Bird is out in Indiana. Is there hope for Ordway's Paul George dream?

OMF - This Red Sox team cannot hit without David Ortiz 4-28-17

The offensive issues for this Red Sox team are becoming more and more obvious. We also react to our interview with Pedro Martinez.

OMF - Chris Sale dominates, once again, and gets no run support...once again 4-28-17

Chris Sale basically took on Tanaka and the Yankees by himself last night. And the Sox hot corner of days past seem to be gone as far as third base goes.

Freestyle Friday Hours 3 …

Freestyle Friday Hours 3 and 4 - NFL Draft, Jimmy Garopolo's Future, Celtics

Final two hours of Dale and Holley with Keefe for a Friday.

Freestyle Friday Hours 1 and 2 - NFL Draft, Celts, Lavar Ball and more

Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss a variety of topics for the first two hours of Freestyle Friday.

Keefer Madness and Laroy's Freestyle Friday 04-28-17

We close out the week with another edition of the madness and LAROY!!!!!!!!!!! takes you into the weekend.

Ep. 57: Garry W. Tallent,…

Ep. 57: Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band

Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.

Ep. 56: Howie Carr

Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.

Ep. 55: Kirk has a proposal for Callahan and the Producers

Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.

SoccerCast - Charlie Stil…

SoccerCast - Charlie Stillitano, International Champions Cup

Ben and Alex talk to Charlie Stillitano, the man responsible for the International Champions Cup. He has created tournaments for the biggest teams in the world to be played in the US every summer. This year he will bring Juventus and Roma to play in Foxboro on July 30th.

The Real K&C – Last meals, zit staring & no answers 4-28-17

Ken and Chris have the Good Weekend recap of a Friday Christian Arcand edition of K&C.

WEEI Fantasy Football Podcast NFL Draft Day Podcast (The TE’s and WR’s)

It’s Day 1 of the NFL Draft tonight so Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson offer a little pre-draft fodder for you featuring the Top Tight Ends and Top Wide Receivers. It’s Day 1 of the draft so there’s a lot of focus on the Top Tier talent who you could see drafted tonight including analysis on OJ Howard, Evan Engram & David Njoku; all Tight Ends that could be drafted in tonight’s 1st Round – a rarity. The analysis deepens with more focus on the Top 10 Tight Ends including Jake Butt, Bucky Hodges and Jordan Leggett. Then the boys turn to the Top Wide Receivers, including John Ross, Corey Davis, Mike Williams and JuJu Smith-Shuster. We’ll see where these guys land tonight, but you can learn more and have a few laughs right now.

K&C - The Candyman return…

K&C - The Candyman returns; A busy night at the Draft and Curtis is spoiled 4-28-17

Christian Arcand made his triumphant return to K&C and the guys talked about the future of Jimmy Garoppolo.

More from this show

K&C - Tom Brady is appear…

K&C - Tom Brady is appearing with Tony Robbins in Boston 4-28-17

Gerry, Kirk and Arcand react to Brady getting into a business relationship with Tony Robbins.

More from this show

K&C - Gerry would never h…

K&C - Gerry would never have a gay lover in prison; Kirk's Twitter war with Jemele Hill 4-27-17

Hour 4. Kirk questions the show about whether or not anyone would have relations with another man while in prison. Jemele Hill threatened Kirk on Twitter, but did she delete her tweet?

More from this show

K&C - Tony Robbins has hi…

K&C - Tony Robbins has his followers walk over burning coals; Pat from Rhode Island gave Tony Robbins $20k 4-28-17

Tony Robbins fans were sent to the hospital after getting injured walking over coals and Pat is a massive fan of Tony Robbins.

More from this show

K&C - Tony Robbins has so…

K&C - Tony Robbins has some inspiring quotes; Curtis is going to see Robbins in Boston 4-28-17

Gerry and Kirk read some inspiring quotes from Tony Robbins and Curtis is all set to see the man himself in June.

More from this show

News & Analysis