Still, Joe Kelly is attempting to find himself while working through struggles in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen. Right now, Kelly holds a 8.80 ERA in just over 15 innings of work. Therefore, it seems like remembering a clean outing from Kelly is a tough task.
Recently, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times went into what may correct Kelly’s struggles with the Dodgers.
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) May 14, 2019
First, Dodgers’ pitching coach Mark Prior weighed in.
“He really hasn’t been able to find that release point, that consistent release point,” Dodgers bullpen coach Mark Prior said. “Some nights he has it and we see the action. We see the good shape on the breaking ball, we see good depth on the changeup and we see the fastball with some arm-side run. Other times we see he yanks pitches. It’s been kind of a tough go, getting him right.”
Honestly – Kelly’s issue has not been control – evidenced by just four walks allowed. Moreover, it’s getting hit hard, early, and often. The 31-year old reliever has allowed 24 hits and 15 earned runs in 15.1 innings of work.
Kelly says that he is is primarily competing against one person, himself.
“It’s always been me versus myself, I guess,” Kelly said, “trying to be successful.”
As far as quotes from Kelly within the story, that’s as much as Castillo grabs. Obviously, one would wish that there was a little more depth to the conversation from Kelly’s side. Then again, it’s not the easiest thing to do in the world in terms of pulling quotes out of a struggling player.
Finally, there are two ways to look at this. It’s very unlikely that Kelly finishes the year with an ERA this escalated – improvement should be coming. However, I personally never thought that Kelly’s struggles would go on this long to begin with.
It sounds like the player is at a loss for an explanation, and his coach and manager are baffled right along with him. It’s reasonable to expect an improvement in performance and for Kelly to return to closer to his career norms. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine the Dodgers reaching their peak without Kelly factoring in, somewhat.