Red Sox RHP Joe Kelly has been optioned to Triple A affiliate Pawtucket. After allowing 7 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, all of this before he could make it out of the third inning on Wednesday June 1st in a 13-9 loss to the Baltimore Oriels.
This was a follow up act on another poor performance against the Toronto Blue Jays where Joe Kelly allowed 5 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks in 4 2/3 innings pitched. Kelly now has an 8.46 ERA in 6 starts in the 2016 season, which according to the Red Sox’s president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is enough to earn yourself a trip to the minors.
Kelly’s roster spot will be replaced by Triple A reliever Noe Ramirez. However, the Red Sox are unsure of how they are going to fill Kelly’s spot in the rotation. According to Red Sox Manager John Farrell the team will be able to go until June 14th without needing a 5th starter thanks to off days on Monday June 6th and Thursday June 9th. Because of this the Red Sox should not have to make any moves to fill that 5th spot in the rotation and I think the Red Sox’s goal here is to send him down for a little to bit to get him back on track and then call him back up before that 5th starter is needed. There is no question that Kelly is good enough to pitch in the big leagues and Kelly proved that to us by winning 8 straight games in the end of 2015 season for the Red Sox. This demotion shouldn’t be anything more than just a opportunity for Kelly to get him mind back in the right place and start pitching the way he was in the end of the 2015 season.
We can only hope that Joe Kelly is able to figure it out before a 5th starter is needed for the Red Sox because right now the club’s options would be Clay Bucholz, Sean O’Sullivan, or Henry Owens. Clay Bucholz recently was moved to the bullpen as a long reliever after posting a 3-5 record with a 6.24 ERA in his 10 starts this season. Sean O’Sullivan was given two starts in the bigs this year and posted a 1-0 record with a 7.94 ERA and Henry Owens posted a 0-0 record with a 5.11 ERA in his 3 starts in the bigs this year, but both pitchers were eventually sent back down to Triple-A. Right now I think Henry Owens is the club’s best option if that 5th starter is needed before Kelly is ready to come back up due to Clay Bucholz being a complete mental case this year and with O’Sullivan’s ERA being just a tick below 8. I’ll take Kelly over and of the other 3 potential options and hopefully this is just a little hiccup for Joe Kelly and he is able to return to AL East leading Red Sox in no time.