The Boston Red Sox could use a hard-throwing reliever in the eighth inning to help bridge the gap to All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel. Joe Kelly might just be that guy.
The 28-year-old started the season in Boston’s rotation and made two horrid starts before getting injured in his third, hitting the disabled list and returning for three more starts. Kelly then was demoted to the minors for nearly two weeks before popping up for a few games at the end of July. Despite performing well in three relief outings then, he was sent back down to Triple-A Pawtucket until September call-ups.
Since his return, Kelly has pitched two scoreless eighth innings, and in five outings as a reliever this season, he’s been very good, allowing five hits and one run with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He’s frequently hit triple digits on the radar gun, too.
So where was he during the second half of the season while Boston’s often injured and struggling bullpen floundered? The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham joined NESN’s Tom Caron on “Red Sox First Pitch” before Tuesday’s game against the San Diego Padres to discuss just that.
Check out his thoughts in the video above.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images