TODAY: Kela is day-to-day after being examined by the team’s medical staff today, and he will be re-assessed by the club early next week, the Pirates announced.
AUGUST 21: Pirates closer Keone Kela threw five pitches in the team’s win over the Brewers on Friday before exiting with a trainer. Manager Derek Shelton revealed afterward that Kela departed because of right forearm tightness, though he said removing the hurler was just a precautionary measure on the team’s part (via Adam Berry of MLB.com).
This is undoubtedly an injury situation for the Pirates and several other teams around the league to monitor as the Aug. 31 trade deadline nears. As a pending free agent on the worst team in baseball, the 27-year-old Kela stands out as one of the game’s most obvious trade chips. If healthy, it would be a surprise to see him in a Pirates uniform once September comes, as a variety of clubs figure to have interest in a hard thrower who owns a 3.24 ERA/3.30 FIP with 11.05 K/9 against 3.45 BB/9 in his 216 1/3-inning big league career.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Kela hasn’t been available enough to up his trade value this season. A positive coronavirus test prevented him from making his season debut until Aug. 13, and he has totaled just three appearances since then.