Joe Kelly By the Numbers

Aug 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm

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All in all, it was a pretty good showing, and roughly what we should have expected from Kelly. Coming up through the farm system, the book on him was that he had great stuff, but occasionally shaky control and usually shaky command. His inability to put that great stuff where he wanted was what kept his strikeout rates down and made him more hittable than a guy with his arm should be. The sink and movement on his fastball was exceptional, though, allowing him to pile up grounders like nobody's business.

Well, that's pretty much exactly what we got. A strikeout rate below 6.00 just doesn't seem to follow for a guy who hits 97 multiple times per game, and more hits than innings pitched seems a little odd as well. A groundball rate above 50% is encouraging, though, and shows hitters have a tough time lifting his fastball to do any real damage against him. There is plenty to like about what he did, but it's obvious there are still some very real rough edges that need to be smoothed and polished before Joe Kelly is able to live up to the promise his arm holds.

For now, it appears Kelly's day in the rotation is likely over, and I for one hope the Cards shift him to the bullpen rather than return him to the minor leagues. I love seeing Trevor Rosenthal throwing his own brand of heat at Busch Stadium, but I think he would be better served in the minors, considering his own extreme youth and the express train he's taken through the minors the last couple seasons. Kelly, on the other hand, I would love to see just what he could do coming out of the 'pen, where I think he could sit pretty easily in that 96-97 range he tops out at as a starter.

Joe Kelly did the Cardinals proud. It hasn't always been the prettiest, but the man helped hold the rotation together when things could have gone completely down the tubes for the Redbirds.