Joe Kelly is not close to rejoining the Cardinals

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Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly has been on the disabled list since mid-April with a hamstring injury and it sounds like he’s not close to rejoining the rotation.

Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Kelly hasn’t been cleared to throw a bullpen session or do any running following a “flareup” 10 days ago. Kelly told Hummel that he’s trying to be cautious in order to avoid aggravating the hamstring injury again and “be out the rest of the year.”

Triple-A call-up Tyler Lyons was doing relatively well stepping into the rotation in place of Kelly until Monday, when he allowed nine runs against the Cubs to send his ERA from 3.43 to 6.12. Based on Kelly’s status Lyons seems likely to hang onto a starting gig until at least mid-June.

UPDATE: So much for that. Now Lyons is injured too.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.