Dodgers News: Joe Kelly Hopeful of Pitching in Playoffs After Shoulder Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2020

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly throws to the plate during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Relief pitcher Joe Kelly won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2018 and hopes to return from a shoulder injury in time to do the same with the Los Angeles Dodgers this year.

"The postseason is a big factor coming into play right now," he said, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. "Still have to serve my five games [suspension]. I feel like I'll have enough time, for sure. I'll still throw during those five games, still can mimic getting reps in. Time is getting short."

Gurnick noted Kelly said he is hitting 97 mph in throwing sessions but needs to work on his control.

Kelly made headlines this year for his role in a skirmish with the Houston Astros on July 28. He threw near Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and shortstop Carlos Correa before exchanging words with the latter after a strikeout.

The benches cleared as a result, as tensions were high between the teams that met in the 2017 World Series. Houston won that series in seven games, though it was since revealed it participated in a sign-stealing scandal during that season and into 2018.

Kelly was with the Red Sox that year, but Dodgers fans surely appreciated his willingness to stand up to the Astros.

The right-hander was initially suspended eight games for his role in the incident, but the ban was reduced to five on appeal.

He has logged seven appearances this year and has not allowed a run with a 1.58 WHIP and five strikeouts in 6.1 innings. It is a marked improvement from the 4.56 ERA he posted in 55 games for the Dodgers last year, though the small sample size is notable.

Los Angeles has the best record in baseball at 30-12. It will be on the short list of favorites to win the World Series come playoff time. The franchise last hoisted the Commissioner's Trophy in 1988.    


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