Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. I’ve talked about my beloved Dodgers a lot recently, but today I want to talk about someone who probably gets too much flack — today “Let’s Talk about Joe Kelly”.
Let’s Talk about Joe Kelly
I’m not going to sugarcoat things. Since Joe Kelly was signed to the Dodgers on his 3 year guaranteed $25 million contract… he’s been pretty bad.
As I type this he’s 1-3 and his ERA is 7.25. There’s no way to make that seem good. However, I just want to say something:
Give my boy Joe Kelly a break.
Yes it’s already June. Yes the Dodgers expected better from him. However, the dude has +++ stuff. Forget about the wins and losses and ERA for a little bit. Just look how this guy throws. His fastball sits around 99 and can touch 100. When he’s right, he can dot corners. His slider is filthy when next to his fastball. He’s elite. I can not stress this enough he’s elite. I don’t mean he’s good enough to play in the major leagues, I mean he’s good enough to play on the grand stage that is the World Series — and he did, last year, where he all but annihilated us.
So what’s wrong?
For whatever reason he just doesn’t feel comfortable in Dodgers uniform and you Dodgers fans booing him at his home park isn’t helping things.
Must I remind everyone about Pedro Baez?
You know, the reliever that had a ton of problems always being placed in high pressure, high leverage situations? For most of 2018 he had a lot of issues and there was usually collective groan from the Dodgers fans whenever he took the field. Even with all that he still did went out there every day to do his job. Sometimes he got the outs needed, sometimes he gave up a few runs. But look at him today, he’s 2-2 and his ERA is sitting at 2.87. These numbers are even more respectable when you account for the fact that he’s pretty much always facing the 3, 4, and 5 hitters.
Pedro has stepped up as a pretty reliable bullpen piece in the Dodgers bullpen. As Orel has said before, he’s evolved from a “thrower” to a pitcher. Since he can throw gas with his 96+ mph fastball, he seemed to default to that on both his first pitch and his out pitch. However, he has now developed a lot of confidence in his changeup (which is very good), and isn’t afraid to throw it on a 3 ball count. This has kept hitters off balance and really helped out in making his good fastball feel even faster.
Long story short, Pedro is doing a good job, and I hope (and expect) that to continue.
Here’s the real talk:
What happens between now and the end of the season is just a prelude to the post-season. The Dodgers, short of falling apart at the seams, should comfortably get into the post season. The chances of getting to another World Series are also pretty good.
For that reason, we need Joe Kelly to be right. Last night (6-18-19) he seems to be trending back to where he should be, where he knows he can be, and where we want him to be. His fastball was dotting corners and his offspeed stuff looked good. The lead off walk was not optimal, but it wasn’t horrible. The single that he gave up wasn’t great contact, it just found a hole.
Just like you can’t be lucky all the time… I think for Joe Kelly, you can’t be unlucky all the time… and I think his unluck is about to run out.
My colleague and I decided to get some Joe Kelly bobbleheads off of Ebay as a sign of solidarity. We’re going to leave them on our desks at work.
If you’re reading this Joe, keep doing you man. You’re a good guy and your stuff is filthy. There are the Dodger faithful who believe in you. The agony of defeat you gave us from last year still stings… time to share that with the opposing teams now.
I guess I have a habit of rooting for underdogs, since people like Max Muncy and now Joe Kelly really resonate with me.
Joe Kelly will be the key to this Dodgers post season run.
His stuff is filthy… so give my boy some slack.
Make him feel comfortable in his own home — Dodgers Stadium.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
You don’t need to fill out your email address, just write your name or nickname.
Like these posts? Make sure to subscribe to get email alerts!