When will Joe Kelly make his triumphant return to the mound for the Dodgers?
Kelly has been on the IL with shoulder inflammation since the early part of August. He lasted pitched for the Boys in Blue on Aug. 8 against the arch rival San Francisco Giants. Though he still has to serve his five-game suspension for throwing at Houston Astros hitters and making a frowning face, Kelly did give us an update on how he’s doing regarding his shoulder injury.
Will Joe Kelly make his triumphant return before the NL postseason?
With the conclusion of Sunday night’s game vs. the NL West rival Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers will have played 42 of their 60 regular-season games in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 MLB season. The Dodgers have a scheduled off-day on Labor Day. If Kelly were to feel good to go on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the absolute earliest he could return is Sept. 14 vs. the San Diego Padres.
Returning on that date would put him with 14 games left to be played before the postseason. Because Kelly is a fireball right-handed pitcher, having his velocity up is paramount to knowing when he’s coming off the IL. However, he did say in his Zoom meeting that he doesn’t need to see a batter in the box before he feels like he can come back for the World Series favorites in the NL.
Assuming he’s ready to rock by this time next week, he could be ready by Sept. 19 for a road date vs. the Rockies next Saturday. However, that would mean Kelly would return to the Dodgers with only eight games left in the regular season. The Dodgers may already have clinched a postseason berth by then, possibly have the NL West and the top seed in the NL all locked up. Who knows?
Though he may not pitch much, if it all, during the regular season, Kelly seems to be progressing.