Kelly was traded from the Cardinals to the Diamondbacks along with Luke Weaver, Andrew Young and a draft pick in exchange for Paul Goldschmidt. This is excellent for Kelly's fantasy value, as he was relatively blocked in St. Louis, but now joins a team that had Alex Avila and John Ryan Murphy as the incumbents behind the dish. Kelly's defense is generally regarded as above average, but his stock has dipped in the past calendar year, as he logged a 120 wRC+ at Triple-A in 2017 and followed that up with a 107 wRC+ in a return trip to the Pacific Coast League in 2018. He has a .154 average and zero home runs in 131 MLB plate appearances, but has a chance to be relevant as a low-power/decent-average option this season, particularly in two-catcher leagues.
Kelly went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Sunday's 5-2 victory over Detroit. Kelly drew the start behind the dish with Yadier Molina day-to-day due to a hamstring issue. Kelly has seen little playing time in 2018, appearing in 16 games and batting .138 with three RBI. He figures to serve in a bench role down the stretch of the regular season as the Cardinals fight for a playoff berth.
Kelly was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Saturday. Kelly has a miserable .150/.216/.187 slash line in 118 career plate appearances, though he's long been seen as a potential future starting catcher. For now, he'll have to battle Francisco Pena for playing time behind Yadier Molina.
Kelly was sent down to Triple-A Memphis on Monday, Rob Rains of StLSportsPage.com reports. With Yadier Molina expected to return from injury Tuesday, the Cardinals were expected to make a move. Kelly made the most sense, as he's struggled mightily at the plate through 12 games, recording just two hits in 25 at-bats and striking out six times.
Kelly, who went 0-for-2 with a walk in a win over the Pirates on Saturday, is hitless in seven at-bats overall across the four games he's played since returning from a stint on the disabled list. The young backstop has found major-league arms extremely difficult to solve thus far, as he's hitting a paltry .080 in his first 29 plate appearances. The struggles are similar to those of his initial cup of coffee with the Cardinals in 2017, when he slashed .174/.240/.217 across 75 plate appearances. Kelly's days at the major-league level are very likely numbered for the moment anyhow. Yadier Molina (groin) is scheduled to return to action Tuesday, and Francisco Pena is projected to continue serving as his backup.