Red Sox: Why isn’t Trevor Kelley getting a shot in the Majors?

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: The Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship banner hangs outside Fenway Park on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: The Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship banner hangs outside Fenway Park on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox have shown a need for bullpen help lately. So why isn’t Trevor Kelley getting his deserved chance in the Majors?

On Thursday, the Boston Red Sox got a stellar outing from their bullpen. Seven different pitchers combined to go 7 2/3 scoreless innings. In that time, they allowed just four hits and struck out nine.

Despite that, it’s no secret that Boston needs bullpen help. Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes have struggled a little bit as of late, as have a few others. Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree have been reliable but can’t go every night. The Red Sox have also had to rely heavily on players like Colten Brewer, Ryan Weber, Josh Taylorand Josh Smith.

Travis Lakins is getting a look and despite the 5.63 ERA at the moment I’m high on him. However, the Red Sox clearly need something to happen – like another name emerging as a bullpen ace.

They have gone to the minors often this year. As I mentioned – Weber, Taylor, Smith, and Lakins have gotten chances. Bobby Poyner, Erasmo Ramirezand Darwinzon Hernandez have as well – and Mike Shawaryn is currently looking incredible. That being said, Shawaryn should get a shot in the rotation – but that’s a completely different argument.

Out of all those names, Shawaryn’s the only one that’s been consistently strong – and he’s only had 8 1/3 innings so far.

One name from the minors that hasn’t gotten a shot yet is Trevor Kelley.

At the moment, Kelley has a 1.10 ERA in 32 2/3 innings pitched for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. The right-hander has a .217 BAA and 1.16 WHIP and is 3-for-3 in save opportunities on the year.

This isn’t a random good start either. In his minor league career, the 25-year-old has a 2.35 ERA. That being said – he’s still improving as he’s posting the best ERA and BAA of his career.

Even crazier; in 56 innings in Triple-A (23 1/3 last season as well), Kelley has allowed just eight earned runs (1.29 ERA). He’s been his best against the highest level of competition he’s faced.

The Boston Red Sox have shown time-and-time again that their bullpen depth has caused issues for them. They’ve tried many solutions, but not the most obvious one.

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Why is that exactly? There’s no real answer unless you’re in the Red Sox organization. I will say this though – I’ve noticed a negative trend when it comes to prospects. Lower draft picks tend to not get recognized for their achievements nearly as much.

There have been way too many instances when I’ve noticed a player putting up great numbers isn’t getting any recognition and just so happens to be a late-round pick. Could it be early-round bias?

I have no actual evidence to back this up other than what I’ve noticed. Of course, it should be noted that sometimes later picks do get recognition. However, if you follow MiLB you might have noticed it on occasion too.

In case you were wondering, Trevor Kelley was drafted in the 36th-round back in 2015 out of the University of North Carolina. Not exactly an early draft pick that analysts will want to talk about.

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What should really matter though? The potential someone showed when they were first drafted however many years ago, or their performance in the minors and the potential they show presently? My vote’s for the latter. When will it be Trevor Kelley’s turn to get a shot in the Majors? Whenever it happens it will be long overdue.