The Padres announced that right-hander Keone Kela has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right forearm strain. Righty Miguel Diaz was called up from Triple-A to take Kela’s spot on the active roster.
Kela pitched to just one batter during a relief appearance in last night’s 5-4 Padres loss to the Giants, as Austin Slater homered off Kela to score the game’s deciding run. Kela was removed after facing Slater due to an injury that will now keep him out of action for at least the next 10 days, and possibly much longer given the potential seriousness attached to forearm issues.
Due to both forearm tightness and a positive COVID-19 test, Kela was limited to only two innings over three games with the Pirates in 2020. This season saw the right-hander hit the IL again, missing roughly the 10-day minimum due to shoulder inflammation. Injuries have been a constant for Kela throughout his pro career, with other elbow and shoulder injuries interrupting what has been a pretty solid series of performances over 227 1/3 career innings with the Padres, Pirates, and Rangers since 2015.
Kela has a 5.06 ERA/3.12 SIERA over 10 2/3 innings with San Diego this season, and while his overall Statcast numbers aren’t very impressive, it’s safe to say that Kela’s injuries have strongly hampered his performance. Of his six earned runs allowed this season, four have come in the outings directly prior to his two IL placements, when Kela was seemingly not pitching at 100 percent.
Both the Padres’ rotation and bullpen are among the best in baseball despite a swath of injuries this season. Kela is the 11th pitcher currently on San Diego’s injured list, with maladies ranging from relatively short-term problems to season-ending injuries (i.e. Tommy John surgeries for Adrian Morejon, Jose Castillo, and Michel Baez).