Reds' Trevor Bauer Warned of MLB Discipline for Custom 'Free Joe Kelly' Cleats

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 19, 2020

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer reacts to a strikeout against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader in Detroit, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Trevor Bauer already called out Major League Baseball for its suspension of Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly on his YouTube channel. Now he's doing it again with his gear.

The Cincinnati Reds right-hander tweeted a video from inside the clubhouse showing off his custom cleats with Kelly's likeness on one shoe and "Free Joe Kelly" on the other.

Trevor Bauer @BauerOutage

And the moment you've all been waiting for.....here's a look at my cleats for tonight's start. FREE JOE KELLY! If you want to be eligible for a chance to win these, see next tweet for details. https://t.co/WR0LrNpgCC

Although he planned on wearing the cleats for Wednesday's start, Bauer told ESPN's Jeff Passan that MLB warned him he could be removed from the game and disciplined if he wore them during the game. 

Kelly was punished after throwing pitches near the heads of Houston Astros stars Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa on July 28 and mocking Correa as he walked off the mound, which resulted in the benches clearing.

While Kelly has had notable control issues, the Dodgers lost in the 2017 World Series to the Astros, who deployed a sign-stealing scheme throughout the season—though Kelly wasn't with L.A. at the time.

MLB initially suspended Kelly for eight games but reduced the ban to five on appeal.

That still wasn't good enough for Bauer, who will debut his message on the mound in Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Royals. He's also giving his followers a chance to win the cleats.

It won't be the first time Bauer has caused a stir at Kauffman Stadium. It probably won't be the last.