The Red Sox’ trade for Adrian Gonzalez prior to the 2011 season was immediately seen as a win for Boston. One of the big drawbacks, though, was having to part ways with Casey Kelly, who looked to have a promising career ahead of him as a major league pitcher.
Two years later, Kelly’s immediate future is up in the air. The 23-year-old underwent tests on his sore right pitching elbow, and the results weren’t encouraging, meaning Tommy John surgery could be looming.
“The doctors are concerned about what the tests look like,” Padres manager Bud Black told reporters. “That’s the best I can say. There’s going to be a lot of discussion between Casey and his family about all this. I assume they’ll want a second opinion to make sure all of their bases are covered. That’s the right thing to do.”
Kelly was sent to San Diego along with Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes and a player to be named later — which eventually became Eric Patterson — in December 2010. The right-hander has struggled to stay healthy, though, which means the deal has the potential to become even more disastrous for the Padres.
Kelly started experiencing elbow soreness last April, and was shut down for three months. He eventually returned, but posted a 2-3 record with a 6.21 ERA in six big league starts.
The hope was that Kelly would be ready to take the next step this season, but he has experienced soreness in the wake of his last Cactus League start on March 7. Now, it could be time to go under the knife.
Kelly was the 24th-ranked prospect in baseball before the 2010 season, according to Baseball America. He ranked 45th on Baseball America’s pre-2013 prospects list.
Photo via Facebook/Casey Kelly