in

Dodgers: Joe Kelly Talks Off-Season Driveline Experience

Add JK17 to the list!

Dodgers
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays at Dodger Stadium on September 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Rays won in the 11th inning 8-7. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

Slowly but surely, the names of all the Dodgers that visited Driveline Baseball this winter are getting out there.

Alex Wood was the first name, but that was before he returned to LA. Then came Kenley Jansen speaking more openly about it by the day. Followed by Clayton Kershaw, who explained his realization that Driveline is more than just weighted baseballs.

Now add reliever Joe Kelly to the list.

Our friend Bill Plunkett of the OC Register brings us more.

First off, why would a guy that averaged 97.7 mph on his fastball last season need to visit Driveline — a program widely known for velocity development? It turns out that Kelly’s fastball spin rate of 2,150 rpm was considered below average, so he was looking for answers.

Enter to Win a Justin Turner Signed Bat!

The Driveline think tank, of course, found something during their “compressed, 8-hour session. The ball wasn’t coming out of his hand correctly.

I was throwing fastballs with just one finger. I saw it on the video. There’s only one finger touching the ball (at release). Now I’m just trying to get two fingers, to release the ball at the same point.

I could feel it but I didn’t know what I was doing wrong – until someone tells you, you know.

After a grip adjustment, the right-hander already seems to be in a better spot than he was at this time a year ago. Moreover, he touched 99 mph on his fastball early in spring, which was a surprise to him

I don’t remember at the end of any Spring Training being able to throw that kind of velocity. My body feels healthy. That’s my biggest takeaway. 99 mph curveball. I couldn’t do that when I was 21.

Added to a potentially resurgent Kenley Jansen, and off-season addition Blake Treinen at the backend of the bullpen, Dodger games may look to get shorter once again. As manager Dave Roberts noted on Thursday, “I think our ‘pen will be a position of strength this year” …him being correct would be a godsend for Los Angeles.

NEXT: Dave Roberts Says Kenley Jansen Can be Elite Again

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.

3 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. I hope Driveline can perform miracles, because Joe Kelley needs one. Along with Pollack, he has been one of the worst aquisitions for the Dodgers in recent memory. Big money, small results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

General Dodgers Soreness, the Future of Justin Turner, Driveline Jansen, and More! | Blue Heaven Podcast

Dodgers

Dodgers: Dave Roberts is Not Ready to Name Gavin Lux As Starter Yet