Craig Kimbrel is recognized for having one of the game’s best curveballs and since 2016, he has thrown the sharp-breaking pitch faster and with a lower release point than 99% of all relievers. Against the Reds Monday night in his disastrous first outing of 2020, however, Kimbrel’s release point dropped even lower than usual.
Rather than it’s usual location of about 5.1-5.2 feet above the mound, his release point was between 4.8-4.9 feet off the dirt.
While a 5% lower release point might not seem like a big deal, it was his lowest in over 3.5 years. The visual representation of Kimbrel’s release point on month-to-month average since 2016, really makes Monday’s effort against the Reds stand out.
Why focus on the release point? Because it might be a proxy for proper mechanics, with outfits like Driveline designing training regimes specifically aimed at improving release point consistency.
Kimbrel’s command was all over the place against the Reds for some reason. Maybe the culprit was an unusually low release point that can be addressed immediately. Successfully adjusting is easier said than done, though.