Cardinals will go with Joe Kelly for Game 3 of World Series

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According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have confirmed that Joe Kelly will start Game 3 of the World Series against the Red Sox on Saturday in St. Louis. He’ll square off against veteran right-hander Jake Peavy.

After posting a 2.69 ERA in 15 starts and 22 relief appearances during the regular season, Kelly has a 4.41 ERA and 13/6 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings over three postseason starts. He hasn’t pitched since Game 5 of the NLCS last Wednesday, so he’ll be going on nine days’ rest.

As for who will start Game 4 on Sunday, well, that’s still up in the air. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny hasn’t ruled out using Adam Wainwright depending on how dire things might be. Lance Lynn is the alternative for the assignment.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.