Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly has recently regained the form he exhibited in last season’s postseason, as his 2.51 ERA in 32.1 innings since June 1st is exactly what L.A. brass had in mind when the club inked him to a three-year/$25MM deal this past winter. Unfortunately, Kelly’s recent performance has been maintained despite nagging lower-body issues, with manager Dave Roberts telling MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick today that said issues will limit Kelly’s usage leading into the playoffs (link). The Dodgers wrapped up the NL West over a week ago, so it stands to reason that Roberts would currently opt for kid gloves in handling his banged-up players.
A few other L.A. notes courtesy of Ken Gurnick today…
- Utilityman Max Muncy suffered a quad injury in Friday night’s 12-5 victory over Colorado on Friday, but Roberts defines him as “playable” for tonight’s game, with an expected return to the starting lineup slated for Sunday (link). It was only days ago that the 29-year-old Muncy returned from a fractured wrist, so it’s imperative that the club gets him right for October. After exploding into public consciousness in 2018 with a ridiculous .263/.391/.582 campaign (162 wRC+), Muncy has proven to be far from a one-year wonder in 2019. His .248/.368/.510 line through 562 at-bats has been good enough for a 131 wRC+ on the year.
- It’s been a yo-yo season for starter Rich Hill, as the lanky 39-year-old has been off-and-on the IL with dizzying frequency in 2019. When healthy, Hill has been characteristically effective–as evidenced by a 2.68 ERA/4.30 FIP through 11 starts–but the lefty has been sidelined since Sept 12 with a strained left MCL. That injury was sustained in his first start back after an elbow issue precluded him from appearing in three month’s worth of games. Now, however, comes word that Hill is again ready to retake the mound, as Gurnick hears that Hill will start Tuesday’s tilt at San Diego (link). Despite the injury issues, we heard early in the year that the hurler was interested in continuing his career beyond 2019–his final season under contract with Los Angeles.