Dodgers: Joe Kelly Once Again Dealing with Semi-Unknown Injury, Will He Be Ready for Opening Day?

You might not be surprised to learn that, once again, Joe Kelly is hurting. The oft-injured Dodgers reliever is dealing with reported soreness and his status for Opening Day is very much up in the air.

This week on our Blue Heaven Podcast, we discussed the up and down (mostly down) history of Kelly in Dodger blue and wonder if his contract might be the worst that Andrew Friedman has ever inked.

Plus we talk about Joe’s strange fixation with throwing his curveball last season and how the Dodgers’ excuses for why never quite made sense. And where would Joe Kelly be amongst Dodger fans if he never had that altercation with the Houston Cheaters?


Is there any chance that LA picks up Joe’s $12 million option for 2022? What would a decent season have to look like for Joe to boost his status on the mound? Heck, could the Dodgers even cut bait and let him go if they need a roster spot? Reclamation project pitchers like Jimmy Nelson and eventually Brandon Morrow or Tommy Kahnle will need a roster spot. And there are spring standouts like Garrit Cleavinger or Dennis Santana that may be more deserving.

If Kelly opens the season on the Injured List — which he will — he might be one step closer to potentially never pitching for LA again.

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Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Bobby Miller, and any Dodgers of the future. Under Clint, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. He's a golf enthusiast, an amateur wood worker, and a friend.


    1. Somebody please tell me that Jansen and Kelly will not be re-signed in 2022, and that we will use that $32M savings to sign Seager. Kelley was one of a select few bad moves by Friedman. He has contributed next to nothing. Jansen has been in decline for years. Seager is hitting his prime, and it’s at an MVP caliber level. It may be impossible to overcome the Boras factor, but you have to have a plan, and give it a real shot.

  1. I think it is time to cut bait. Nelson looks like a roster spot. He could be a good 2 inning bridge reliever in my mind. Kelly was supposed to be that 1 or 2 inning guy. His 1 and 1/2 runners per inning plus wild pitch factor is just unacceptable. Time to move on.

  2. So far it might be worst signing ever, but $22 million is a lot of motivation for Kelly to get his stuff together. Frankly knowing what he’s capable of I’d rather have him ready for playoffs than Opening Day.

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