Craig Kimbrel. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Red Sox All-Star and Cy Young candidate Craig Kimbrel posted one of the best seasons of his career in 2017, but baseball's a game.
When Kimbrel's daughter was born in November with a heart condition, that was life.
Lydia's since required two surgeries at Boston Children's Hospital--both successful--and Kimbrel returned to Sox camp in Fort Myers after a few weeks away.
"It's been hard," he said. "But I think through every hard or tough thing that we go through in life, there's something to be learned from it. We're definitely going to try to let this make us better. We love that girl more than anything, and God gave me this ability to play baseball, and if it wasn't for this game of baseball, we wouldn't be in Boston and having this care. But she's on the way up!"
Kimbrel's teammates wore "Lydia Strong" T-shirts in his absence to show their support, and manager Alex Cora said the closer's remained in everyone's thoughts.
"We always preach chemistry, and teams are family and all that, but when it hits you, when things like this happen, this is real," he said. "The whole vibe in that clubhouse, praying and thinking about them, I do believe that helped. I'm just happy that he's here."
Kimbrel threw live batting practice yesterday and said he'll be ready for Opening Day.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman reports