Player Spotlight: Joe Kelly
With the news that Jaime Garcia has been placed on the DL with a mysterious shoulder injury it was soon apparent that a minor leaguer would be given the call to start for the team on Sunday and maybe onwards. Today we discovered through Joe Strauss that AAA Memphis pitcher Joe Kelly would get the call, Kelly who turns 24 tomorrow will be getting quite the birthday present.
Joseph Kelly Junior was drafted by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2009 draft from the University of California Riverside. In parts of four minor league seasons Kelly has proven to be quite the starting pitcher despite his 21-22 record. Kelly has a minor league career ERA of 3.89 and has 280 strikeouts in 338 innings pitched. Though he may not have the stuff of a Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, or Carlos Martinez he is hacing a very fine season so far in the minors leading the team with his 2.86 ERA. Shelby Miller the teams top prospect will not get the call based on his performance so far this season. In 12 starts with Memphis, Miller is 4-4 with a 5.18 ERA and 63 K’s in just over 70 innings.
In 12 starts with Memphis Kelly has a 2-5 record with that 2.86 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 72.1 innings. In his last three starts Kelly has gone 7 innings in each start and has had a 1.22 ERA winning one of the games and losing none. Kelly has been the hottest pitcher in Memphis which is why he will be given the call on Sunday. There will be a corresponding move when Kelly is brought up on Sunday, my guess is that either Maikel Cleto or Sam Freeman will be headed back to Memphis.