Kela hasn’t participated in Summer Camp, and it’s not known how much more time the right-hander will miss. If he does pitch this year, though, he should once again be one of the Pirates’ go-to late-game options.
Kela has quietly been among the game’s most effective relievers for most of his career, which began in Texas in 2015, having regularly run up high strikeout totals and impressive run prevention numbers. Last year, his first full season in Pittsburgh, was more of the same from a production standpoint. A shoulder injury and two suspensions limited Kela to just 29 2/3 innings, though he did post a 2.12 ERA/3.52 FIP with 10.01 K/9 and 3.34 BB/9 in that span.
The 27-year-old Kela isn’t the only notable Pirate who has been absent from camp. Outfielder Gregory Polanco has been out for an undisclosed reason since Monday. Meanwhile, standout third base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes hasn’t practiced at all. The Pirates haven’t provided details on his status.