The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a two-game series sweep of the Houston Astros last month, but the biggest takeaway from the series was an incident involving Joe Kelly and Carlos Correa in the opening contest.
After sailing a pitch over Alex Bregman’s head and backing up Yuli Gurriel with a breaking ball, Kelly struck out Correa to complete a scoreless sixth inning. The two exchanged glares and shouted in each other’s direction, prompting benches to clear.
Kelly later denied that he intentionally tried hitting the aforementioned players, but MLB nonetheless served him an eight-game suspension — the equivalent to 22 games over a normal 162-game regular season.
Kelly appealed the decision and has been allowed to pitch in the meantime. His hearing, originally scheduled for last week, was pushed back to Monday.
It has since been ruled that Kelly’s suspension was reduced to five games, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly, who was suspended for eight games for throwing at Houston Astros batters, had his ban reduced to five games on appeal, sources tell me and @kileymcd.
First with the successful appeal was @Jared_Carrabis.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 12, 2020
Even while struggling with command, Kelly has strung together seven consecutive scoreless appearances out of the bullpen. He hasn’t allowed a run in 6.1 innings to date, striking out five batters against five walks.
Though, he currently is on the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder. Kelly will not be able to serve his suspension while on the IL.
Dave Roberts ‘pleaded’ with MLB to reduce Kelly’s suspension
Kelly’s eight-game ban was viewed as excessive by many players around the league, including Marcus Stroman and Kenyan Middleton. There was no precedent set for a suspension of this nature, which is why Dodgers manager Dave Roberts felt MLB should reduce or drop it altogether.
“I think this is an unprecedented number for a pitcher. I know that Joe is in the process of appealing, which I completely agree with and understand. As far as me getting suspended, that’s part of it when a player gets suspended for that reason,” Roberts said.
“I do think I tried to have peace and keep it from escalating, part of my job is keeping guys in the dugout, which I think both managers could’ve done a better job.”
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