The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated Joe Kelly and placed Scott Alexander on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 3, with left shoulder inflammation. While the Dodgers are off Thursday, completing the roster move allowed them to maximize the ability to backdate an IL stint up to three days.
Alexander was deemed unavailable Tuesday due to reporting soreness. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the left-hander had improved for the series finale against the Chicago Cubs, though Alexander did not appear in the extra-innings loss.
He last pitched on May 1, throwing a scoreless inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. Overall, Alexander is 0-2 with a 2.31 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in 13 games this season. Roberts named him as one of the options to assume a high-leverage role in the wake of Corey Knebel suffering a right lat strain.
Kelly is on the active roster for the first time this season. He fell behind early in Spring Training and never appeared in a Cactus League game. The Dodgers were vague about his ailment and a potential timeline for a return this year.
That recently changed when Roberts mentioned early or middle of May as a target for the 32-year-old. Kelly also disclosed to a Boston radio station that he underwent offseason surgery to remove a cyst from his right shoulder.
“We were aware. It’s something that Joe, very prideful and doesn’t make excuses, and we talked about it. He just wanted to keep it quiet,” Roberts explained. “We weren’t too concerned with the short- or the long term.
“It’s something he didn’t want to make an excuse for performance last year, and felt it would come out as such. We were going to do it, it slipped our mind, but it’s not something we were trying to conceal. I think initially it was more respecting Joe’s wishes.”
Kelly described the pain as fire ants eating away at his shoulder, which did not have full strength or range of motion throughout the 2020 season and impacted his command.
Kelly nevertheless pitched to 1.80 ERA in 12 games last year. He’s 5-4 with a 4.11 ERA through two seasons with the Dodgers. This is the final guaranteed year on his contract, which includes a $12 million club option and $4 million buyout for 2022.
Dodgers bullpen outlook
With Kelly in the fold, the Dodgers now have a second fresh arm as Edwin Uceta has yet to appear since getting recalled for a second time. The bullpen has been taxed of late and dealt with injuries to Knebel, David Price and Brusdar Graterol.
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