After watching Joe Kelly salvage his 2018 season with a dominant showing in the postseason, which the Los Angeles Dodgers squarely were on the wrong end of in the World Series, they signed him to a three-year, $25 million contract.
The deal brought the right-handed relief pitcher back home, as he resides in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and grew up attending games at Dodger Stadium. Kelly signing with the Dodgers came to fruition after an extensive meeting with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
While Kelly quickly began acclimating to a new clubhouse, he was delayed some in appearing in a Cactus League game. Kelly was scheduled to pitch in Wednesday’s loss to the Cleveland Indians but got scratched from the appearance.
According to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, Kelly is dealing with back trouble:
The Dodgers scratched Joe Kelly from his scheduled appearance Wednesday night after the reliever reported tightness in his back.
The Dodgers are hopeful that the injury is short-term and that Kelly can resume throwing shortly.
Kelly joins Cody Bellinger and Russell Martin as Dodgers who have battled some form of back discomfort this spring. Bellinger made a quick return, while Martin’s has been delayed due to lingering soreness.
Kelly had a bit of a shaky Dodgers debut, issuing two walks, two hits and one run over one inning. He improved on that March 3, with just one hit allowed in a scoreless frame against the Texas Rangers.