Dodgers Hopeful Joe Kelly Returns From Injured List In May

Nearly immediately into the Los Angeles Dodgers reporting to camp for Spring Training, Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly fell behind other pitchers due to unspecified reasons. They remained on a similar trajectory throughout the spring as neither appeared in a Cactus League game.

Both also opened the regular season on the 10-day injured list, with Kelly’s stint due to right shoulder inflammation. Although Graterol was activated last week, Kelly is not yet with the team.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has remained vague on a timetable since the spring, but when discussing Corey Knebel’s right lat strain, offered a window for Kelly’s potential return. “I would say sometime early-to-mid May is our hope,” Roberts said.

Given Kelly’s prolonged absence, Roberts was asked late last week if surgery was being considered. “I don’t think surgery is an option,” he said. “Everything I know is that he’s at the alt. site and he’s kind of working and progressing each day.”

Kelly is in the final guaranteed year of a three-year, $25 million contract he signed with the Dodgers after helping the Boston Red Sox win the 2018 World Series. Kelly’s deal includes a $12 million team option and $4 million buyout for the 2022 season.

Kelly’s role with Dodgers

Since signing Kelly, the Dodgers have used him in a variety of roles. Some of that has been dictated by the right-hander’s struggles during multiple stretches of a season.

Roberts nevertheless has continued to voice confidence in Kelly, and mentioned him among the options the team will rely on now that Knebel is due to be sidelined multiple months by a lat injury.

In addition to and before Kelly is activated, Roberts also pointed to Scott Alexander and Graterol as candidates to assume the void as well.

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