What Should We Expect from Reliever Joe Kelly?

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Dope
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iayork wrote an article today about Joe Kelly and his transition to the bullpen.

In July, he was brought back to the big leagues, this time as a reliever, and was pretty spectacular (1.02 ERA, 1.05 WHIP in 17 ⅔ innings), finishing up with 3 ⅔ perfect innings in the postseason.
Joe Kelly the starter wasn't all that great, but Joe Kelly the reliever has the potential to be something special. The velocity and movement that he gets on his pitches is superb. Now, he won't pitch to a 1.02 ERA, but if he can carry over the success from last year, he could be a nice weapon for Farrell.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Isn't it about time that Dombrowski stumbles over some gold in his bullpen construction?

I'm calling it now. Joe Kelly will be to the Sox what Miller was to the MFY's and Indians last year. There. Pffft.
 

sgfeer

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I would imagine Farrell is expecting an ulcer. Kelly just seems like one of those guys that checks all the boxes, but can never reach his perceived potential. Hopefully Milleresque, more likely something quite less. I'm rooting for him
 

Rovin Romine

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iayork wrote an article today about Joe Kelly and his transition to the bullpen.

Joe Kelly the starter wasn't all that great, but Joe Kelly the reliever has the potential to be something special. The velocity and movement that he gets on his pitches is superb. Now, he won't pitch to a 1.02 ERA, but if he can carry over the success from last year, he could be a nice weapon for Farrell.
Ah, but Joe Kelly the starter was very good in August 2015, after a very inconsistent season to that point. Just like Joe Kelly the reliever was very good in September of 2016, after a very inconsistent season to that point.

He's got potential, he's had success, what he needs is to a) avoid injury and b) produce results consistently. Given his career to date, I wouldn't expect anything one way or the other.
 

JimD

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I would imagine Farrell is expecting an ulcer. Kelly just seems like one of those guys that checks all the boxes, but can never reach his perceived potential. Hopefully Milleresque, more likely something quite less. I'm rooting for him
To be fair, the the bolded could also have been said about Andrew Miller prior to 2013.
 

shaggydog2000

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To be fair, the the bolded could also have been said about Andrew Miller prior to 2013.
Sure, there are plenty of cases of guys who put it all together and became good relievers or starters. But there are far more of them that do not.
 

koufax37

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Maybe it is just seeing him hit 102 up close in person last year (stadium gun in San Diego, might be a little hot), but I really like him as a short reliever, and see a lot of good Daniel Bard in him.

I think he gets it as a reliever and gets to avoid some of his pitchability shortcomings and let it fly with his two pitches. While his walk rate was way too high last year, his BABIP was also an insane .358. Same K rate, same 99+ stuff, a lower walk rate, and a natural BABIP regression, and he sets up to leapfrog Thornberg and Carson in our get-to-Kimbrel group.
 

JimBoSox9

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iayork wrote an article today about Joe Kelly and his transition to the bullpen.


...Joe Kelly the reliever has the potential to be something special. The velocity and movement that he gets on his pitches is superb.
All the velocity and movement in the world don't mean dinky-doo if he can't throw strikes. That's a lovely breakdown by @iayork as always, but nothing in there really tells a tale about 2017 performance. The elevated stuff is exciting, but the results over 20 innings are almost meaningless.

Call me when the new book has been out on Kelly for a bit and he's walked a few guys in bad spots in front of the home crowd; I'm betting the same issues with repeating his delivery will still be there. He probably won't regress back to dumpster fire levels (this is a half-heel-turn, not a full swerve), but Andrew Miller comparisons right now just saddle him with uncomfortably high expectations.
 

Cesar Crespo

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All the velocity and movement in the world don't mean dinky-doo if he can't throw strikes. That's a lovely breakdown by @iayork as always, but nothing in there really tells a tale about 2017 performance. The elevated stuff is exciting, but the results over 20 innings are almost meaningless.

Call me when the new book has been out on Kelly for a bit and he's walked a few guys in bad spots in front of the home crowd; I'm betting the same issues with repeating his delivery will still be there. He probably won't regress back to dumpster fire levels (this is a half-heel-turn, not a full swerve), but Andrew Miller comparisons right now just saddle him with uncomfortably high expectations.
Joe Kelly's minor league career as a MR:

83 games 2.41 era 145.2 ip 140 hits 39 er 146k/40bb 7 HRA
23.9% K Rate 6.6% BB rate 1.1% HR rate
.250/.311/.???
His rates as a starter: 18.6% K Rate 10.4% BB rate 0.8% HR Rate .256/.339/.???

Joe Kelly's Major League career as a MR:
44 games 2.69 era 70.1ip 70h 21 er 70k/19bb 7 HRA
23.6% K rate 6.4.% BB rate 2.4% HR rate
.258/315/.380
His rates as a starter: 16.4% K rate 9.3 BB rate 2.2% HR rate .266/.340/.401

His pro career combined as a MR:
127 games 2.50 era 216ip 210 hits 60 er 216k/59bb 14 HRA
23.8% K Rate, 6.5% K BB rate, 1.5% HR rate.

Joe Kelly the MR strikes out 33% more batters while waking 33% less. He does give up more HRs but the sample size with HRs is so small I'm not sure it means much.