Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Compares Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman’s Suspension To Joe Kelly’s
Aroldis Chapman
Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

Despite the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, benches-clearing incidents have been a theme of the 2020 MLB season so far.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were involved in the first one, getting into it with the Houston Astros after Joe Kelly threw a fastball behind Alex Bregman and then a couple of breaking balls close to Carlos Correa.

Kelly was suspended eight games for his actions, although it was later reduced to five after an appeal. That still felt like a bit much considering Kelly didn’t hit anyone and the Astros players were just as responsible for the benches clearing.

Kelly’s suspension was under the microscope again when the Oakland Athletics and Astros had a brawl, and now with the latest incident between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays after Aroldis Chapman threw a fastball that just missed Mike Brosseau’s head.

MLB also handed down a suspension to Chapman, although his was only three games despite essentially committing the same crime that Kelly did. It arguably was more egregious as Chapman’s fastball narrowly missed Brosseau.

“I saw it. I know there’s some history between the two teams, but I don’t know Chapman’s history with that and suspensions, so it’s not necessarily apples to apples as far as what’s deemed intent with Joe and Chapman,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“I do know to go glove side, at the head, that’s very difficult for a pitcher to do. I don’t know much and I’m just glad I’m not a part of that situation.”

Chapman also appealed his suspension, so it is possible that his gets reduced like Kelly’s did. The Rays clearly were not happy with the Yankees’ actions, so that may be something to keep an eye on the next time the two teams play.

Kelly making progress in rehab

Kelly has not yet served his five-game suspension as shortly after his appeal hearing, he was placed on the 10-day injured list with a shoulder injury. While he is not yet ready to return, Roberts gave a positive update on his progress.

“He threw a good ‘pen [Tuesday], so I think Joe is sort of on Petey’s schedule. I don’t know if he’s going to throw another ‘pen [Thursday] but I think sometime this weekend he’ll throw another one and shortly thereafter face some hitters,” Roberts said.

“He and Petey, sometime late next week makes sense.”

Kelly will have to be activated from the IL to serve his suspension, so it is possible the Dodgers do so before he’s fully ready since he would still be out for five more games.

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