It’s a very rare combination and one that was very profitable for those fortunate enough to own him in fantasy leagues; Adam Jones knocked in five runs and stole two bases Saturday in Baltimore’s 8-4 win over Oakland.
Jones had a three-run homer off Jason Hammel in the first inning and then a two-run single in the fourth. Both times, he drove in Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce, the two guys hitting ahead of him in the Baltimore lineup. Those two reached base safely eight tiems in all.
Jones’ steals came after the single in the fourth and after he reached on a fielder’s choice in the seventh. It was just the third two-steal game of his career; he entered with a total of four steals this season.
That made Jones the first player since the Pirates’ Matt Lawton in 2005 to amass five RBI and two steals in the same game. Lawton did it in a 16-2 win over the Diamondbacks. Carlos Guillen is the other player to accomplish it since 2000, driving in six (without the benefit of a homer) and stealing two bases for the Tigers in an 11-10 defeat of the Mariners in 2004.
In all, 23 players since 1914 have had five RBI and two steals in a game. Rogers Hornsby, Mickey Mantle, Mickey Cochrane and Gary Sheffield are some other famous names to pull it off. Oddly enough, Dante Bichette did it twice two years apart for the Rockies. Both games were against San Diego: a 12-7 win on June 27, 1994 and an 8-5 victory on July 11, 1996.
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.