Former Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez defeated the North Siders via a go-ahead home run. (Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez defeated the North Siders via a go-ahead home run. (Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)

WATCH: Joe Maddon on Craig Kimbrel's debut, Eloy Jimenez's home run


by - Senior Writer -

CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon had high praise for closer Craig Kimbrel following Kimbrel's heavily anticipated debut as part of the Cubs organization on Tuesday. Speaking on Kimbrel's perfect 1-inning performance for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, Maddon said in his pregame press conference on Tuesday afternoon that he was pleased with Kimbrel's overall velocity, as well as the break on his off-speed pitches.

Maddon did not have too much to say about Kimbrel's looming arrival to the big leagues, but he did clarify that health would be the primary determining factor concerning how he planned to use Kimbrel once arrived. Implying that Kimbrel would need to be fully conditioned and ready to take on save situations in the majors before becoming the Cubs' full-time closer, Maddon seemingly connoted that Kimbrel will spend a little more time readying himself in the minors before joining the North Siders.

Later in the day, the Cubs lost 3-1 to the visiting Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field to start the Crosstown Classic. The contest was tied 1-1 entering the ninth inning, but White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez broke the deadlock with a 2-run homer in the top of the ninth. A broken-bat bomb, the go-ahead home run essentially won the game for the White Sox and provided Jimenez with sweet revenge against the team that once traded him.

Formerly a top prospect in the Cubs' farm system, Jimenez was traded to the White Sox for starting pitcher Jose Quintana during the summer of 2017, and he told the media on several occasions after being called up by the White Sox this year that he could not wait to play against the North Siders. Tuesday night's matchup served as Jimenez's first clash with the Cubs, and he showed out by going 2-for-3 with one walk and tallying the winning hit. Maddon complimented Jimenez in his postgame press conference but also opined that the primary factor behind the outcome was a lack of offensive production on the Cubs' behalf.

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