Dodgers News: Joe Kelly, Mitch White Working Through Early Health Hiccups

We just can’t have nice things, can we? After the first full day at Camelback Ranch, the Dodgers are already dealing with a few dings and dents in the pitching staff. Or, more accurately, soreness.

Addressing the media for the first time this spring, manager Dave Roberts talked about the different look of this spring training. He and the coaching staff had to conduct introductory meetings outside at a fan-less Glendale complex in Arizona, which he admitted felt weird without fans. Of course, the facility is closed to fans amid the ongoing pandemic.

Beyond the weirdness of an empty CBR, Roberts mentioned a pair of pitchers already dealing with some early physical ailments.

Joe Kelly’s still coming back — he’s not quite there yet, but it’s nothing like a setback or anything. … He was just playing catch and his arm got sore on him. So we just want to make sure we nip it right now.

Of course, Kelly — outside of his 8 game suspension — missed much of the 2020 season with a shoulder issue. Still, he made it into 12 regular season games and allowed 1 run over 5 postseason appearances last October.

In addition to Kelly, Roberts mentioned righty hurler Mitch White as someone who is also “a little sore,” but, like Kelly, he isn’t worried about any lingering issues.

Ramping up from a 60 game season to a full 162 will undoubtedly be a challenge for the league in 2021. And certainly, the health of a pitching staff is certain to be a popular (or unpopular?) topic all season long. Thankfully, LA boasts one of the deepest groups in all of baseball.

The club will officially welcome position players to camp on Monday, February 22, and open a slate of 29 exhibition games starting on the 28th.

NEXT: Dave Roberts Offers Some Clarity on Kenley Jansen’s Job Security

Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor and manager of, and a host and analyst on DN's Blue Heaven podcast live stream. He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future. He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Just wondering what others think. How much of an impact has Kelly made ? I know there have been a couple streaks of dominant pitching but also many injuries and some stretches of wildness. Looking back he seems to have been a non-factor. Other than letting the cheatets know what he thinks of them! That might be worth more than a few strikeouts!

  2. I thought Kelly was a rare bad move by Friedman the day he was signed to a 3 year contract. They were talking about him as the 8th inning guy from the get go, but his career record was actually worse than any of the other relievers the Dodgers had at the time. He is streaky, has had dominant stretches and also some really good years mixed in with some mediocre ones. Maybe in a contract year, he’ll bring his best, so he’ll get his chance, and we’ll go from there. His 4M buyout for next season was way over the top IMO, but it isn’t my money.

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