After his right shoulder impingement, Joe Kelly was placed on the 15-day DL. However, lucky for the Red Sox, he has been making progress for his return to the Sox.
Joe Kelly was going for his 10th straight win in 10 decisions, on April 19 against the Rays when he was pulled from the game in the second inning. Kelly was solid throughout the spring, but was uninspiring for the\e Sox so far, this year Kelly is 1-0 with an era of 9.45 inn 8 and ⅔ innings pitched. Still, his run of success last season, and the fact that he is 15-8 since the trade that brought him in, gave us something to hope for (especially given the fact that we are 12th in the AL in ERA).
Now taking his next step Joe Kelly pitched three innings in triple A Pawtucket. Kelly allowed two hits, three walks and one run while striking out three. The one run that was allowed came on a home run by Byron Buxton. It was a decent outing, and one he can definitely build off of.
With Kelly and Erod back the rotation will get crowded with David Price, Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, Steven Wright. Since Wright is out of options and has a staggering era of 1.67, the 6th best ERA in the majors he definitely deserves to stay, though a six-man rotation is unlikely.
Kelly is only 27 years old the same age as Sox star Brock Holt. As Kelly enters his prime he had two years left of arbitration left on his contract. Kelly could prove to be a solid number four starter or a great number five starter should he gain some consistency and stay on the mound.
If Joe Kelly can keep up the good work he was having before his shoulder impingement he could help the Sox get over the Orioles, or any other AL East foe who rises to the top with them.