Kelly allowed two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out three over four innings in Saturday's spring start against the Padres. Kelly navigated the first three innings allowing just a walk and a hit, but San Diego first baseman Ty France took him deep in the fourth. The right-hander needed 56 pitches (37 strikes) to complete his four innings. "When you put together a baseball game and looking at starting pitching," manager Torey Lovullo told Richard Morin of the Arizona Republic, "you're looking for what Kelly gave us. He was on the attack. I could feel in the dugout that he was doing a good job with his fastball." It was Kelly's second Cactus League start as he works toward a possible spot in the rotation to begin the season. Kelly's role partly depends on the availability of Mike Leake (wrist).
Kelly allowed one run on three hits and one walk while striking out three over 2.2 innings in Monday's spring game against the Giants. Kelly, who threw in relief last week, made his first start of the spring and will be building up as a starter during camp. The right-hander threw 49 pitches Monday. Kelly's still not assured of a spot in the rotation, but he could be the replacement if Mike Leake (left wrist) is not ready for the start of the regular season. In two spring outings, Kelly has allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over four innings.
Kelly allowed two runs on three hits and one walk over 1.1 innings of relief in Wednesday's game against Oakland. Kelly, who made 32 starts for the Diamondbacks in 2019, came out of the bullpen for the first time since 2015 when he pitched in Korea. He's a candidate for Arizona's rotation, but whether there's a spot for him is uncertain, according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com.
Kelly (13-14) allowed five earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven across six innings to earn the win Wednesday against the Cardinals. Kelly worked two scoreless innings to begin the game, but he allowed at least one earned run in each of his last four frames. Despite earning a win, it was a disappointing way for Kelly to end the campaign, as he had allowed three or fewer runs in five consecutive starts entering Wednesday's outing. He ends his first season back in the major leagues with a 4.42 ERA and 1.31 WHIP across 183.1 innings -- respectable marks considering the current pitching landscape.
Kelly said he stopped a summer slide by making two significant adjustments, one mechanical and the other mental, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Kelly's spot in the rotation was teetering following an August start against the Brewers when manager Torey Lovullo openly considered a change. The right-hander had a 9.20 ERA over an odious six-start stretch, but the manager held off. After that start, Kelly tweaked his mechanics, a slight turn of the hips before driving down the mound. That adjustment added a tick of velocity over his last five starts; Kelly's four-seam fastball averaged 92.08 following that start against Milwaukee and jumped to 93.47 since. "It just allows me to be more athletic," Kelly said, "and not necessarily feel my way through my delivery but just kind of load and go." He also credits an intangible adjustment, realizing he no longer needs to fear opposing hitters. "Just having the confidence," he said, "that I'm good enough as myself and don't need to be any better than what I'm doing is kind of what it boils down to." Kelly has a 1.74 ERA with a 9.3 K/9 over the last five starts.
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