Dodgers Injury Update: Joe Kelly Likely Returning During Padres Series

Joe Kelly appeared in just four games after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers before he was put on the 15-day injured list due to right forearm inflammation.

It IL stint was Kelly’s third of the season, as he missed time in April because of a right groin strain, and 16 days in July with elbow trouble while still a member of the Chicago White Sox.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said Kelly likely would not get back to 100% health this season but the veteran was expected to return in time for the playoffs.

Kelly began throwing bullpen sessions in the middle of August and Roberts said he advanced to facing batters on Tuesday with a return expected to occur next week when the Dodgers are playing the San Diego Padres, via SportsNet LA:

“Joe had a live, simulated batting practice yesterday at Rancho. Actually haven’t heard about it, but I think our expectation is he’ll be back when we get home against the Padres. At some point in time that series.”

Roberts previously indicated Kelly would join a Minor League affiliate for a rehab assignment prior to being activated. If still deemed necessary, that could come with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga or Triple-A Oklahoma City this weekend.

Despite some of Kelly’s health troubles and overall struggles this year, Roberts has trusted him in high-leverage situations as two of his four appearances with the Dodgers have come in the seventh inning or later.

Overall this season, Kelly is a combined 2-5 with a 4.41 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 35 appearances for the White Sox and Dodgers.

Kelly returning would bolster the right-handed pitching depth in the Dodgers bullpen, as Yency Almonte and Michael Grove both remain on the 15-day IL as well. Shelby Miller did recently get activated and has pitched to encouraging results thus far.

Joe Kelly mariachi bobblehead

The Dodgers added a Mariachi Joe Kelly bobblehead for the September 22 game against the San Francisco Giants.

Kelly’s mariachi persona began during the 2021, when he traded a game jersey for the charro jacket from Grover Castro Tiburcio, a California State University, Northridge alumnus and trumpet player for Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar.

Kelly then wore the jacket when the Dodgers visited the White House to celebrate their 2020 World Series title because he forgot to pack an outfit for the event.

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