Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly wants to return to the Red Sox as he is now a free agent. Kelly should be resigned after his performance in the playoffs.
The 2018 season was really a fun year. From spring training to the World Series there was always excitement. Part of that had to do with manager Alex Cora being the right guy for the job. He put high expectations on the team from day one and everyone had the same goal. A championship was earned and it was the fourth championship since 2004 for the franchise. Now as we turn the page to the offseason and there are players who may not be coming back to the Sox. One of those free agents is Joe Kelly, who struggled during the regular season but shined in the postseason.
The Sox should re-sign Kelly, especially if he wants to be here. During the regular season, Kelly was 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA. He had a WHIP of 1.355, he gave up 32 walks, recorded 68 strikeouts and gave up four home runs.
Kelly would always seem to blow the game when he entered in relief, making people want to trade him during the offseason. But that perception changed during the postseason. He would go 3-2 with a 2.49 ERA.
In two appearances in his career in the World Series, the righty is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA. His WHIP during the World Series was 0.794, he recorded 16 strikeouts and gave up zero home runs. Kelly’s numbers are much better when it matters most in the playoffs. His history in the postseason is pretty good, his WHIP is 1.085 and he only has given up two home runs while recording 41 strikeouts.
Kelly recently did an interview with Jim Rome and stated he wants to be with the Red Sox for the rest of his career.
"“It’s one of those things where I don’t even feel like a free agent because I still feel like I’m a part of the Boston Red Sox. I still feel like that’s where I’m going to be for the rest of my career. When people bring up free agency it’s like, ‘Oh crap, I am a free agent.’ And I happened to pitch well in the postseason and now teams are going to want me to play for their team.It’s one of those things where it still — I just got back to California a couple days ago, my wife just drove in with our dogs from Boston, she made a long three day drive, which God bless her heart — So it’s one of those things where we just got back, so free agency right now is just mebjust coming back to California, just relaxing, having a good time with my family.Like I said deep down inside I still feel like I’m on the Red Sox even though technically I’m not. So it’s one of those things, it’s going to be fun to see what teams are interested in me, and hopefully I can be a Red Sox through the rest of my career.”"
In my opinion, I’m glad he wants to re-sign here. He really gets what it takes to be a good pitcher when it matters the most. Also, he gets how important the Sox-Yankee rivalry is. His brawl with former Yankee Tyler Austin really brought the rivalry back to life after it had been dead since 2004.
In May, his ERA was 0.63, in 14 innings pitched and he only gave up five hits, one run, five walks, and 17 strikeouts. His WHIP was 0.698. He then went into a slump, as his ERA was 8.31 in June and 8.38 in July. In those months combined, he gave up 17 runs, walked 14, and struck out 15. In August his ERA was better at 1.42. He struck out 14 batters and had a WHIP of 1.342.
Even in September, he struggled and there was a question on whether or not he would be on the postseason roster. But Cora had faith in him and put him on the roster and he pitched great.
Now all the Sox need to do is re-sign him so he can start 2019 where he left off in 2018.