Casey Kelly had been scheduled to pitch in the Arizona Fall League in order to make up for the innings he missed while out with a strained elbow earlier this season, but instead the Padres have decided to simply shut him down until 2013.
Kelly’s final start of this season will be skipped today versus the Brewers, with manager Bud Black telling Corey Brock of MLB.com that his arm hasn’t “bounced back the last couple of starts to where we felt one more start would be worth it.”
As for the AFL experience, Black explained that “the 30 or 40 innings he would have pitched are not as important as 2013.” It’s tough to argue with that about a 22-year-old who missed three months while in the minors. Kelly finishes his first taste of the big leagues with an ugly 6.21 ERA in six starts, but he posted a solid 26/10 K/BB ratio in 29 innings.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.