Dodgers: Joe Kelly Feeling Stronger, Definitely Wild, and Expects to Be Ready for October

The Dodgers have been without reliever Joe Kelly since early August after he hit the injured list with shoulder inflammation. On Sunday, he provided an update on the now almost month long recovery

I’m doing good. Finally starting to feel definitely a lot stronger. You know last time I face live hitters a couple days ago the ball was coming out good. I think I hit 97 — you know, coming back with not throwing as much as I could have, the timing’s a little bit off, mechanics a little bit off… definitely wild.

In the early goings of the season, Kelly was effectively wild through his first 7 appearances, one of which netted him a five game suspension by MLB for throwing pitches up and in to two Houston Astros batters — something he’s still understandably frustrated over.

Next up in his road back to the active roster, Joe said he plans to face hitters one or two more times starting on Monday as he works closer to game intensity before being activated and ultimately serving that five game suspension. Importantly, with 18 games left in the regular season, he does see the door closing ever so slightly. His plan? Ramping it quicker facing Dodgers hitters.

I’m going to pick it up a little bit, you know try to throw all my pitches, kind of pitch similarly too how I will be coming down the stretch this year. So, like I said, just pick up the intensity, try to get after it a little bit more and see where I’m at.

Joe Kelly Talks Frustrations Over Injury, MLB’s Suspension of Yankees’ Chapman and More

So, after today, Los Angeles will have 18 games left on the calendar before the start of postseason play. With Kelly’s need to miss another five games thanks to the suspension, is he worried about being ready for October?

Yeah, that’s obviously a big factor that’s coming into play right now. I still have to serve my five so it’s something that you know, organization and front office and Doc and everyone else will have to see where I’m at. I feel like I’ll have enough time for sure — with the five game suspension, that’s unfortunate obviously, but, you know during those five games I’ll still throw as much as I can.

I can pretty much kind of mimic getting reps in for one. It’s obviously going to be guys from our team, but I’ll definitely keep throwing during that time and I think ultimately [Monday’s] a big deal to see where we’re at for mechanics and from a physical standpoint.

Last postseason, Kelly returned to the active roster after missing most of the final month of the season with a body strength issue. In 3 NLDS appearances against the Washington Nationals, he allowed 6 earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched, so perhaps rushing him onto the active roster isn’t the most ideal game plan.

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Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.


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