The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Joe Kelly on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation and recalled Adam Kolarek from their alternate training site at USC. Kelly’s IL stint is retroactive to Sunday (Aug. 9).
He is sidelined for only the fifth time in his career. Kelly has appeared in seven games this season, allowing five hits and issuing five walks, but with five strikeouts that have proven key in throwing 6.1 scoreless innings.
Kelly’s last appearance came Saturday against the San Francisco Giants, when he allowed a hit and struck out two batters over one inning of work. His command was improved from what had been seen from the 32-year-old this season.
That was a role in Kelly being suspended eight games after an incident with the Houston Astros. He threw behind Alex Bregman and also brushed back Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa. The Correa at-bat ended with a strikeout and the two exchanged glances and words, leading to benches clearing.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also was suspended one game, which he served in the series finale against the Astros. Meanwhile, Kelly appealed his and remained eligible to play, appearing in five games since MLB’s ruling. His appeal hearing was delayed from last week to Monday.
Kolarek returns a handful of days after being one of two players — the other Zack McKinstry — the Dodgers optioned in order to trim their active roster to 28.
“Adam is a guy that has pitched really big innings and got big outs for us, especially in the postseason last year. To make that decision was very difficult,” Roberts said. “He’s been good for us up to this point. … Hopefully get him back here soon.
“We certainly see his value and love everything about him, but right now, having the guys that do get both (right- and left-handed batters out) is giving us a little bit of runway.”
Kolarek is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and three strikeouts over 3.1 innings pitched across four appearances this season.
Arm slot point of focus with Kolarek
Also behind the Dodgers’ decision to option Kolarek last week was to give him an opportunity to iron out mechanics. With the three-batter rule in place this season and the southpaw having to face right-handed batters, Kolarek’s arm slot led to some command trouble.
“We’ve challenged him on getting more right-handers this year, and I think early on we were trying to get his arm up to get them and down below to get the lefties,” Roberts explained. “It affected his command from down below, so going to SC, now we’re going to try to get him to stay down below versus left and right, and have a more consistent throw.”
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