Joe Kelly is back off the disabled list and ready to rejoin the Cardinals’ rotation tonight against the Brewers after missing the past two-plus months with a hamstring injury that was supposed to involve a much speedier recovery.
Kelly made three minor-league rehab starts at Triple-A, throwing 10.1 innings with a 2.61 ERA, but he also had more walks (6) than strikeouts (4) and failed to make it out of the fifth inning in any of the outings. He maxed out at 72 pitches in his most recent Triple-A start, so Kelly may be on a somewhat limited pitch count tonight.
St. Louis’ rotation has been wrecked by injuries and Kelly had a 0.59 ERA in three starts before being shut down, giving him a 2.83 ERA in 34 career starts in addition to his bullpen work.
This is not good: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rays pitcher Brent Honeywell cut short a bullpen session this morning and left the field with a trainer. Topkin says Honeywell was “clearly upset” as he made his way into the clubhouse and “cursed loudly a few times.”
Obviously you don’t want to assume the worst, but that’s often the behavior of a pitcher who experienced a serious injury. We will get updates later and will provide an update when we hear.
Honeywell, probably the Rays’ top prospect, is slated to make his major league debut early this season, though possibly not for a few weeks into the season due to off days. Eventually, though, it is assumed he’d slot in someplace behind Chris Archer, Matt Andriese, Nathan Eovaldi, Jake Faria, and Blake Snell, either as a young-David Price-style swingman, a spot starter or a regular starter at some point.
Last year Honeywell posted a 3.49 ERA and 172/35 K/BB ratio in 136. innings in 26 starts between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.