Joe Kelly Expected To Join Red Sox As Reliever After All-Star Break

BOSTON — The Red Sox’s bullpen should get a little deeper after the All-Star break, but it’s not because anyone new will join the team.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Saturday before the club’s game against the Los Angeles Angels that when Joe Kelly returns to Boston, it’ll be as a reliever.

The right-hander threw a 40-pitch bullpen Saturday and will throw another one Monday, and Farrell expects Kelly will rehab with a minor league affiliate by next week.

“Power arm,” Farrell said of the reason for Kelly’s switch. “He’s done it multiple times, whether it’s been St. Louis. This would be the first time that we’ve shifted him to that role here. And this is for multiple reasons: for the time it would take to stretch him back out, potential of shorter stints, the stuff playing up, possibly more productive. That’s the whole goal here. And to also continue to build depth in our bullpen.”

Kelly was a part-time reliever in his first two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, in 2012 and 2013, but he hasn’t seen a relief appearance in the big leagues since then. Farrell said Kelly had no complaints about moving back to the ‘pen, though.

“He was receptive,” Farrell said. “He understood the reasons for it, the logic behind it. It’s something he’s done in the past. I think more importantly, he’s feeling good physically, and that’s the biggest thing. His bullpen (Saturday) was a productive one. It was crisp.”

Kelly is 2-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 30 career relief appearances.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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