The Diamondbacks have reinstated Merrill Kelly from the COVID-19 injured list. He’ll get the start this evening against the Dodgers, his first action in a month after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Tyler Gilbert was placed on the 10-day injured list with elbow fatigue in a corresponding move.
Kelly has been one of the D-Backs’ most reliable starters this year. While his promising 2020 campaign was cut short by thoracic outlet syndrome, the 32-year-old has bounced back and remained durable until his positive COVID diagnosis. Kelly has tossed 142 1/3 frames over 24 starts, working to a 4.30 ERA. He’s not missed many bats, but Kelly’s a great strike-thrower and has induced grounders at a roughly league average rate en route to solid production.
The final few weeks will offer Kelly an opportunity to make a handful of starts and hopefully demonstrate he’s returned to prior form after a month away. His contract contains an eminently affordable $5.25MM club option, which looks like a lock to be exercised. At that point, Kelly would become one of the offseason’s more notable trade candidates, with the Diamondbacks unlikely to compete next season. Plenty of more immediate contenders could use the affordable, mid-rotation stability Kelly brings and seem likely to be in contact with the Arizona front office over the winter.
To open space on the 40-man roster, the D-Backs recalled minor league reliever Kevin Ginkel and placed him on the major league 60-day injured list due to right elbow inflammation. The move officially ends his season, but Ginkel will pick up MLB service time and pay for the final few weeks. The 27-year-old has been up-and-down over the past three years, combining for a 4.72 ERA over 68 2/3 big league frames.