FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP/CBS) — Craig Kimbrel is away from Boston’s spring training camp while his infant daughter has surgery.
Kimbrel’s wife Ashley gave birth to the couple’s first child, Lydia Joy, in November. Lydia Joy was born with a heart ailment and had a first medical procedure when she was a few days old. Surgery is scheduled at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.
“I love baseball, but I also love my family,” the Red Sox closer said Tuesday. “I’m here to work. I’m here to focus and try to get better. When I leave the ballpark, my heart and my mind are definitely at home.
“The doctors have been amazing, very encouraging,” he added. “There’s a plan for everything. You want to be there and do everything you can, but you have to step back and trust the doctors and doing what we can.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora did not know when Kimbrel would rejoin the team in Fort Myers, Florida.
“Whatever it takes. That’s more important than us,” Cora told reporters following Tuesday night’s Grapefruit League game. “You guys know how I feel about my family so whatever he needs, he’ll get, and we know he’ll be ready for the season.”
Kimbrel has been an All-Star in each of his two seasons with the Red Sox, notching 66 saves while blowing just six over the past two years. He had an incredible 2017 season, finishing with 35 saves and a 1.43 ERA to go with a ridiculous 0.68 WHIP.
The 29-year-old will be a free agent after the season.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)