Former Red Sox RP #3: Joe Kelly
I’ve asked for this quite a few times since his departure to Hollywood, bring Joe Kelly home! Fightin’ Joe is without a doubt a fan favorite with Red Sox Nation and rightfully so. Anytime you run your mouth to the Yankees and then beat one of them up, you’re good with the Fenway Faithful. I’m just saying, one guy has earned two rings since that fight while the other isn’t even in the league.
Kelly didn’t get off to a hot start with the Dodgers but saw some success in the COVID ruined 2020 season and had a massive rebound in 2021. The righty finished last year with a 2.86 ERA in 44 innings through 48 games. Being able to put up some of the best numbers of his career in his ninth year is impressive.
What really makes me want to bring him back to Boston was his 0.977 WHIP and insane 10.2/3.1 K/BB mix. Joe has a filthy arsenal of pitches to keep batters on their toes and it’s something the Red Sox bullpen could use going forward.
The right-hander has a fastball that averaged 97mph last season while mixing in a curveball and change that both sit around 87mph. Having that nice gap in pitch speeds makes them even more lethal for the hitter but that heater/curve combo is his real weapon. I surely don’t envy anyone that is in the batter’s box when he’s on the mound.
From everything I’ve ever seen, ol’ Jimmy B loved his time in Boston and would’ve re-signed had the price been right. The Dodgers bought out his contract for a cool $4M so anything the Red Sox add-in is gravy. I could see Chaim cutting a check in the realm of $6M for 2022 with an option for 2023, a win-win. Bring home, Fightin’ Joe!