Despite Rick Sutcliffe’s rantings about it last night (J.A. Happ, who is 8-2 with a 2.75 ERA should go to the pen, Rick? Really?), I think the Phillies made the right move in taking Jamie Moyer out of the rotation. According to Phil Sheridan, Jamie Moyer, despite his complaints yesterday, felt the same way about it, at least theoretically speaking, back in February:
“It was really hurtful to watch Steve Carlton finish his career the way
that he did,” Moyer said that day. “I’m not questioning why he was
playing. But . . . to see him kind of hanging on the last couple of
years – maybe he thought he could still pitch. But he struggled. I hope
I don’t have to go through that.”
Well, Charlie Manuel is trying to save him from that, isn’t he? Beyond that, I still don’t get the “I was miseld” line Moyer was peddling yesterday. Using that logic couldn’t the Phillies, on some level, say they were “misled” too? I mean, I’m sure Moyer told them that he still had a lot left in the tank when he signed that two-year deal, and he obviously doesn’t.
In reality, no one misleads anyone with this stuff. People hope for the best when fortysomething starters are involved. It often doesn’t pan out. When it doesn’t, the team has to make the moves that are best for the team. Ask Tom Glavine. Ask John Smoltz.
Ask the February 2009 version of Jamie Moyer.
We wrote a lot about Casey Kelly on this site circa 2010-12.
It was understandable. Kelly was a big-time draftee for the Red Sox and famously split time as a shortstop and a pitcher in the minors, with some people even wondering if he could do it full time. The Sox put the kibosh on that pretty quickly, as he became the top overall prospect in the Boston organization as a pitcher. He then made news when he was sent to San Diego — along with Anthony Rizzo — in the famous Adrian Gonzalez trade in December 2010.
He made his big league debut for the Padres in late August of 2012, holding a pretty darn good Atlanta Braves team scoreless for six innings, striking out four. He would pitch in five more games in the season’s final month to not very good results but missed all of 2013 and most of 2014 thanks to Tommy John surgery.
He wouldn’t make it back to the bigs until 2015 — pitching only three games after being converted to a reliever — before the Padres cut him loose, trading him to the Braves for Christian Bethancourt who, like a younger Kelly, the Padres thought could be a two-way player, catching and relieving. That didn’t work for him either, but I digress.
Kelly made a career-high ten appearances for a bad Braves team in 2016, was let go following the season and was out of the majors again in 2017 after the Cubs released him a couple of months after he failed to make the team out of spring training. He resurfaced with the Giants this past season for seven appearances. The Giants cut him loose last month.
Now Kelly’s journey takes him across the ocean. He announced on Instagram last night that he’s signed with the LG Twins in the Korean Baseball Organization. He seems pretty happy and eager about it in his little video there. I don’t blame him, as he’ll make $1 million for them, as opposed to staying here and almost certainly winding up in a Triple-A rotation making $60K or whatever it is veteran minor leaguers make.
This was probably way too many words to devote to a journeyman heading to play in Korea, but we so often forget top prospects once they fail to meet expectations. We also tend to forget all of the Tommy John casualties, focusing instead on the Tommy John successes. As such, I wanted to think a bit about Casey Kelly. I hope things work out well for him in the KBO and a baseball player who once seemed so promising can, after a delay, find success of his own.