Down: Joe Kelly
There is little chance Joe Kelly gets moved at the deadline, though it would be less surprising than seen seeing Price traded. However, Kelly has done nothing but earn his spot on this list for over a month now.
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Jim Buchanan, as he’s otherwise known, became a fan favorite over the course of 2017 and the first few months of 2018 both for his dominant pitching and for his domination of one Tyler Austin. Whereas Price seems to roll over against New York, Kelly brings the fire that Red Sox fans love to see against their bitter rivals.
Unfortunately, Kelly has been nothing short of awful since allowing two home runs on June 1; he hadn’t given up a long ball this season until that appearance. He tossed 8.2 innings in June and allowed eight runs. His strikeout numbers fell dramatically, from 17 in May to just six in June, and he surrendered two more walks in 5.2 fewer innings.
It should be said that Kelly still had more good outings than bad ones. He made six scoreless appearances, totaling 5.2 scoreless innings, and five in which he allowed a run. His velocity hasn’t dropped in any significant way, so we can probably rule out injury. He’s been used a lot this season, due in large part to his general reliability, so we’re probably just looking at a mild case of mid-season fatigue. He’s already thrown 35.1 innings this season, after working 58 across all of 2017. Tyler Thornburg should be ready soon and should take a good deal of the load and the pressure off of his shoulders. The Red Sox will need Kelly at his best when October rolls around.