The Red Sox were planning to have Steven Wright make a spot-start against the Yankees, but Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that they have changed course and now plan to activate Joe Kelly from the disabled list to make the start.
Kelly came down with biceps tendinitis during a Grapefruit League start on March 16 and has been working his way back in recent days. Red Sox manager John Farrell told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal that they made the decision after watching his most recent bullpen session on Wednesday. He’ll likely be limited to around 85-90 pitches in his season debut.
Kelly was acquired from the Cardinals last July along with Allen Craig in the John Lackey deal. The 26-year-old throws hard and owns a 3.41 ERA over 48 starts and 30 relief appearances in the majors, but he has averaged just 6.0 K/9 and could be in trouble with a move to the American League.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).