Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly has a right fractured forearm, manager Torey Lovullo tells Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. The backstop had left yesterday’s game after being hit by a pitch. Lovullo did not provide an estimated timeline for Kelly’s recovery, but he will be facing a significant absence.
Kelly, 28, came over from the Cardinals as part of the December 2018 Paul Goldschmidt trade and has been the club’s primary backstop for the past four seasons. While his defense and framing have generally been solid in that time, his offense has run hot and cold from year to year. In both 2019 and 2021, he posted double-digit home run totals and walked in more than 12% of his trips to the plate. His wRC+ was 107 in 2019 and 103 in 2021, indicating he was a bit above average in each season. Since catchers tend to hit a bit less than other players, that’s decent production.
But he struggled both in the shortened 2020 season and in 2022. Last year, he hit just seven home runs in 354 plate appearances and walked 8.2% of the time, leading to a batting line of .211/.282/.334. His 73 wRC+ indicates that he was 27% below league average at the plate for the year.
Kelly still has a couple of years of arbitration control remaining, but general manager Mike Hazen indicated in October that the club could look to upgrade behind the plate. That eventually came to pass a couple of months later when they acquired prospect Gabriel Moreno and outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. from the Blue Jays, sending Daulton Varsho the other way. Moreno is considered one of the top prospects in the league but has just 25 games of major league experience under his belt. Kelly was still likely to see significant action, splitting the catching duties with Moreno as the youngster got acclimated to his new club, but that won’t be the case for the next little while.
It seems then that Moreno, 23, could be ticketed for a larger role in the majors. As mentioned, he got a brief taste of the big leagues with the Jays last year, hitting .319/.356/.377 in his first 73 plate appearances. Despite the limited track record, there are reasons to feel good about Moreno going forward. He’s never hit for much power or drawn many walks in the minors, but he’s very difficult to strike out and always runs high batting averages. His defense is also well regarded, leading to him currently being considered the #12 prospect in the league at Baseball America.
The only other catcher on the club’s 40-man roster is José Herrera. The 26-year-old has shown some promise in the minors but has far less prospect pedigree than Moreno. He’s hit .277/.377/.426 in 120 games between Double-A and Triple-A over the past two years. However, his 47-game MLB debut last year resulted in a showing of just .189/.250/.207.
Kelly wasn’t likely to be the most integral member of the Diamondbacks’ roster, but his injury does put them in a bit of a precarious position. Moreno is an exciting young player but he’s inexperienced and new to the organization, presumably still getting familiar with the pitching staff. Herrera, meanwhile, is more of a depth option who could be pushed up to the big league squad. The club has struggled in recent seasons but has been pegged as a potential dark horse contender this year given their slate of current prospects and recent graduates, including Moreno, Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Ryne Nelson, Drey Jameson and Brandon Pfaadt. Their catching depth behind the plate has now taken a hit, though there’s also a clear path forward now for Moreno to have a breakout.
The D’Backs have some depth options on hand via minor league deals, including P.J. Higgins, Ali Sánchez and Juan Centeno. Those players will all presumably move up one rung on the depth chart for now. If the club feels they need to add to that group, it’s possible that some players will get cut from other teams as final roster decisions are made in the coming days.
Good thing they fleeced Atkins for Moreno.
no fleecing. The jays got the best 2023 fantasy player.
oh wait this is real life? nvm then
He is actually a bad fantasy player I think? Since most of his value is in defense and there usually arent many defensive stats in fantasy. He is the best “2023 vacuum player”.
Varsho is catcher eligible in many leagues. That’s what he was referring to.
[Bohemian Rasphody starts playing]
Another reason why the WBC is a bad idea!
So many people not understanding how valuable Varsho is. Arguably the best defensive outfielder in the majors with an above league average bat with plenty of room to grow (check out his minor league stats .302 ba and .372 ob). That is an incredibly valuable player. In his first full year of everyday abs he put up just under 5 WAR. With the shift gone and the larger bases both playing into his strengths he should be even better this year. Looking forward to alot of people eating their words.
*Arguably the best
and thus began the career of Moreno…….Carson Kelly meet Wally Pipp 🙂
Came here for the Wally Pipp notation…leaving satisfied.
C Yards Jeff
Don’t throw him in to the “wolves”. Bring a seasoned vet in to cover until Kelly heals. Austin Romine is out there. Nothing spectacular but takes pressure off of Moreno. A “dark horse” team means they gotta shot at being competitive. Os used this approach last year with Rutschman with much success.
The Goldschmidt trade is looking worse and worse every year
It’s looking pretty good to Goldschmidt.
Is it though? MVP, consistent high average, high OBP, high power hitter. Great defender. Future HOFer. Only topped out at $26M a year and still hasn’t won anything of note with the Cardinals. Yes, he has an MVP, but that’s an individual award that he could’ve just as easily won on the DBacks.
Can’t tell if you are being sarcastic or not, I’m just going to guess that you are. Only reason why the Cardinals didn’t go further last year is because their manager is no good. Im a firm believe that your manager should be atleast older than everyone on the roster or else the players won’t respect the manager. Marmol isn’t a former MLB superstar either, they were better off with Shildt
There are successful young managers and executives with older employees all over the country.
So Goldy would prefer losing with the D-Backs the rest of his career to contending every year with the Cards? Ok
As for MVP;
Goldschmudt I’m sure found it much easier to win one in Sf Louis with runners on base in front of him and someone competent hitting behind him.
@Utah cornelius Baseball is not an average 9-5 job. For example, Mets were an under .500 team with Luis Rojas. Rojas was 37-38 years old. Under Rojas, the clubhouse became like a boys club were the players could start fights and demean the fans as much as they wanted to. There wasn’t one incident under Showalter last year, the team also finished with over 100 wins. Young guys respect their seniors, thats just how it is
It doesn’t matter WHY they didn’t go further. The statement was that “it looks pretty good for Goldschmidt”. No player likes not going deeper into the playoffs, regardless of the reason.
You using “contending” very loosely. They’re not contending, they’re beating up on a very weak division. Since Goldschmidt joined the team, 3 of their 4 playoff appearances have all been first round exists (all wild card round). The closest they got was getting swept out of the NLCS. They topped out at 93 wins in those years, which is fairly light for a team that is a “threat” to win the World Series.
I guess we could call anyone who made the playoffs a “contender” because anyone can get hot at the right time, but at no point during any of those seasons did anyone consider the Cardinals to be a serious World Series threat.
It’s alot better than not making the playoffs at all. Any team that gets in has a fighting chance.
I see the Cards in the playoffs most every year
That my dimwitted friend is called contending.
Same can’t be said for the D-bags
A player getting hurt in a meaningless exhibition? Cancel all spring training games!
Arent all Dback games meaningless?
The only meaningless games in the NLW take place at coors field- a dodger fan
Lets Go DBacks
Just as meaningless as the Dodgers’ games, or do you seriously think that 2020 title counts?
it counts as much as 1972, 1981 and 1995.
Players also get hurt in the regular season
Therefore cancel the regular season.
We really only need a playoff 30 team tournament anyway
Would those games be necessary? Someone might get hurt during those games. How about we just go with Strat-O-Matic results. Wait, all that dice rolling might result in someone ending up with a sprained wrist or carpal tunnel.
We might have to factor in viewer injuries as well. Not just transportation to and from stadiums but what about the grandparents who who might slip and fall going to the living room to watch.
This is just too risky a sport to exist.
Pretty sure the dbacks have a title in 2001 ? How long since your team got a title??
I have deduced you are an Orioles fan. My condolences.
I guess you went to west Baltimore. Try a different area. Also, Camden is in New Jersey. I think you have your cities mixed up.
Saratoga, you don’t like any team but hate many of them? Sounds about right for the comment section here. Your post reminds me of something the great Lasorda said
“If you don’t love the Dodgers, there’s a good chance you may not get into Heaven.” – Tommy Lasorda
Things to consider at your age, grandpa
So you’re just a miserable baseball fan? Weird.
“But there a few teams that I dislike; not many:)
Then goes on to list the majority of both leagues. Hysterical!
Saratoga72… I’ll see your Camden yards and raise you whatever the hell they call the place where the Chicago White Sox play this year/ week/ hour… as for a fan…. I’ll say you like horse racing!!! Kentucky derby a great time!!!88-99
Cookie… while I don’t hate the Dodgers or love them ( big fan of theirs when they played Yankees in 70’s) the gift of MB will at least get me a consideration from ST Peter….
Sara72 … you are so correct!!! Went on baseball tours early 90’s been to over 20 and funny thing is now more have been demolished than still standing… but of the ones you have mentioned… nothing in my eyes comes close to Olympic stadium Montreal… my legs still hurt from the looks of the Astro turf.. three rivers honorable mention
All that hate, sara, you ain’t got a chance for Heaven. That is, if it was a real place, which it isn’t.
Loved me some ol county stadium!!! Many a great time there!! Best tailgating!! As close to heaven as it comes amen amen I say to you!!
C Yards Jeff
I’m a chauffeur. In and out of NYC 5 boroughs, Philly, Baltimore, DC and Pittsburg often. Each one has safe living areas and not so safe living areas. Head on a swivel. Know where you are. I enjoy doing business in all of them. And attending pro sporting events in all as well. Never felt unsafe.
Dang, never thought this kind of thing happened in a ST game. When Altuve fracture a thumb, everyone was complaining that ST games are so less intense that things like this didn’t happen. in ST games. Bummer for Kelly.
The difference is, these games are necessary
Are they really?
What difference is it if the Player is playing in a ST or WBC game? They are still playing against players of equal caliber in both WBC or ST. Pitchers are pitching the same amount and players playing approximately the same amount of innings The innings in a WBC game replaces what is played in ST,. No difference.
1st post. 10 pts. Congrats
If you can get a writer to answer a question containing the word Wow in a chat, you win and I go away.
“Thoughts on WoW?”
I’ve been trying to ask them things like, What’s the biggest Wow moment of ST/WBC? They haven’t bitten yet
I think Moreno and Higgins are a good starter and backup. Moreno will be very good before too long. Moreno for Varsho was a win-win deal.
WBC STRIKES AGAIN!
Dbacks didn’t get anything for Goldy.
They didn’t get much for Goldy, but the trade lineage is still alive through Kelly, Fletcher (the draft pick acquired), and Rivera (was acquired by dealing Weaver).
Not the preferred outcome by any stretch, but not absolutely terrible.
Several backup Catchers are likely to hit free agency and the wiver wire in the next few days. The D’backs will be fine
I feel bad for Kelly but this actually helps the D’backs. Lovullo can’t bat him leadoff anymore and will force him to play Moreno more often than not. That kid can hit! And he’s nice behind the plate.
Cardinals win the trade.
Can’t believe we lost another to the dreaded WBC of death… oh, never mind.
MLB needs to implement a penalty to the team and the player who injures a batter with an inadvertent thrown pitch. Pitcher Santos of the White Sox should be suspended from play for the same period of time that Kelly is unable to perform at his optimum level. The antiquated notion of “just part of the game” needs updating. The Diamondbacks lose their starting catcher for a good chunk of the season while the pitcher and the White Sox incur only having to offer a lame excuse of, “OOPS, SORRY !!”
Blaming the WBC for this is so Sunday. He obviously didn’t have enough time between pitches.
Darragh, it’s “…left yesterday’s…
not “…had left…”.
the word “left” is past tense…..
Swinging wood = Tool
…in that case…..
…because you used “yesterday”…..
Offer the Tigers a box of crayons for Andrew Knapp. He’s had a decent spring.
What with the Diamond Sports bankruptcy, Arizona needs those crayons for its color commentary.