Chopcast: Kimbrel’s 100th save comes at historic rate

ATLANTA — After a rough go of things in his recent outings, Craig Kimbrel finally got over the 100-save plateau in San Francisco, shutting the door on the Giants in AT&T Park Thursday night.

With the milestone in hand, the young closer continues along his historic rate. At 24, he became the second-youngest player to ever reach the mark — not to mention his 15.7 strikeout per nine inning mark, a historic rate in its own regard.

But Kimbrel’s recent struggles — allowing at least one hit in four-consecutive outings — have been well-documented, and his three blown saves this season have already matched his 2012 total. So is he still the lights-out closer the Braves relied on so heavily last season? Are ninth-inning leads just as safe?

Special guest Grant McAuley, the Braves insider at 92.9 The Game, joins the Chopcast to discuss Kimbrel’s recent struggles and confidence level, along with other team news and notes. Here are the highlights:

— How can Kimbrel get back on track now that the milestone is in his rearview mirror?

— After his second quality start in three outings, Julio Teheran remains undefeated (2-0) and is showing signs of maturation — with the help of some veterans and strong coaching. Is the Braves rookie turning the corner?

— Why is Dan Uggla having so much success in May, as opposed to yet another slow April start?

— Is anyone playing the shortstop position better than Andrelton Simmons at the moment? Is he a future star the Braves can bank on?

— With 30-odd games under his belt, how lopsided does the Justin Upton trade look now?

— Why should more people aspire to be Bobby Bonilla?