Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, who led the Majors with 12 saves during August, has been selected as the winner of the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award for August, marking the third career monthly honor for the right-hander. Kimbrel also captured the award in August 2011 and September 2012. This Major League Baseball award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher during each month of the regular season as voted on by a panel from Major League Baseball.
Kimbrel becomes the fifth pitcher to win the award at least three times, joining Trevor Hoffman (4), Joe Nathan (4), J.J. Putz (3) and Rafael Soriano (3). In addition, he joins Hoffman (2005-07) as the only pitchers to win the award at least once in three consecutive seasons.
Kimbrel went 1-0 and converted each of his 12 save opportunities during the month and appeared in 16 games, hurling 16.1 scoreless innings. The Huntsville, Alabama native permitted just eight hits with two walks and 19 strikeouts while holding opposing hitters to a .138 batting average. The hard-throwing 25-year-old opened the month with saves in three consecutive contests from August 2nd-4th at Citizens Bank Park against the N.L. East rival Philadelphia Phillies. Kimbrel notched five strikeouts over 3.0 innings pitched and yielded just two hits over the three contests. The Wallace State Community College (AL) product posted saves on consecutive nights against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 6th-7th, striking out the side in the first of the two contests. Kimbrel also fanned the side and recorded a save against the Nationals in Atlanta on August 18th. The third round selection in the 2008 MLB Draft recorded his third victory of the season on August 28th against the Cleveland Indians at Turner Field, tossing a perfect ninth inning before Chris Johnson provided the walk-off heroics in the bottom of the frame. The 2011 N.L. Rookie of the Year closed out the month with 5.1 perfect innings and three strikeouts over five appearances from August 25th-31st. Kimbrel did not allow a free pass in 15 of his 16 appearances during the month. On the season, the three-time All-Star is 3-2 with a Major League-best 44 saves and a 0.94 ERA.
Other relievers receiving votes included Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen (0-0, 0.73 ERA, 9 SV, 12 G, 12.1 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 24 SO); Chicago White Sox closer Addison Reed (1-1, 1.56 ERA, 10 SV, 15 G, 17.1 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 13 SO); and San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo (1-0, 0.87 ERA, 9 SV, 11 G, 10.1 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 5 SO).