After an outstanding postseason with the Red Sox, Joe Kelly might take on a different role for a different team in 2019.
Relief pitcher Joe Kelly definitely boosted his value during the 2018 postseason. As his Boston Red Sox went on to win the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kelly gave them some lights out, shut down innings out of the bullpen all throughout October.
He did have some struggles here and there throughout the regular season, as Red Sox fans will be quick to tell you. But he seemed to solve those problems at the perfect time, especially as he is now heading into the offseason as a free agent and will be looking to earn some money.
Throughout his tenure with the Red Sox, Kelly has basically been a middle-inning relief pitcher. But seeing as how he could be finding himself with a new team in 2019, there’s always a chance that he could be taking on a different role. He’s been a starting pitcher in the past, when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals, and he would even be open to closing as well.
“Would I want to close? Yeah, that would be the ultimate goal for a guy in the bullpen,” Kelly said, via WEEI.com. “I wouldn’t say I need to close. That would probably limit my number of options. Some teams might want me to start. You never know. I’m open to anything.”
Though this wasn’t Kelly’s first time pitching in a World Series, it was the first time that he was on the winning team. Though money is always a factor, playing for a team that will give him a chance to win more championship rings will play heavily into Kelly’s decision.
“The last three years we’ve been in the playoffs and the other two years were miserable,” Kelly said. “I’m not going to an organization where I know they aren’t putting their heart and soul into winning a World Series.”
In nine appearances for the Red Sox in the 2018 postseason, the hard-throwing right-hander allowed just one run while striking out 13 hitters and not walking anybody. He will definitely have some suitors as he hits the free agent market.