Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly was the marquee bullpen signing of the 2019 off-season. While he spent a lot of the past season trying to get aligned, it seemed that he found it just as the curtain dropped on the year.
Now Kelly talks from Dodgers FanFest on a variety of subjects. The California-born product is always a decent listen, so make sure to enjoy the full clip below.
Notably, Kelly mentions the work he has put in in the off-season at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. Recall that back in September of last season, Kelly suffered from a mysterious health issue that no one wanted to discuss.
“Right now I feel great. It’s something where I just needed time to get healthy, and then strengthen my body. I feel like we have definitely done that this off-season. Going down to Camelback this off-season, you realize that you’re not the same pitcher as a Jack Flaherty. A quick-twitch, explosive type guy. You have only so many bullets in your body until things start going wrong. I was kind of not aware of that [in 2019]. It’s been about getting strong in the right areas with the way I move.”
Obviously, it sounds like Kelly is feeling good and has put in the hard work to be ready for 2020.
Next up, Kelly talks about the new 3-batter rule instituted by MLB. Interestingly enough, Kelly is pretty outspoken that he doesn’t like it.
“Any time there is a rule change I think there is going to be a big impact, and a learning curve. It’s going to be interesting to see how managers go about deploying strategy. It’s going to kind of limit guys you can use that day. There are numerous times where you talk to a manager before a game and they have seen you might have pitched a few times in a row. Now it’s going to be about being able to get a guy out in a big spot, in a big jam. In the past I would always say ‘yes’, and now it’s going to change my answer to that question. That kind of sucks.”
It sounds like the Dodgers will open the year with Joe Kelly at full strength. With the addition of Blake Treinen, it should also alleviate some pressure on Kelly’s overall role. Almost a forgotten man because of lack of effectiveness in 2019, Kelly could be one area of the team that helps boost them to new heights in 2020 if everything is aligned and in synch.