San Diego Padres starting pitcher Casey Kelly-Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Not long ago Adrian Gonzalez was the top San Diego Padre. Of course, the Padres couldn’t afford his impending free agency so when after the 2010 season he was traded to the Red Sox in a blockbuster trade it was no surprise. The supposed centerpiece of that trade for the Padres on the receiving end was Casey Kelly, a promising 2008 first round draft pick for the Red Sox. After a lost 2013 to Tommy John Surgery, it appears that Kelly is getting closer to being a key piece of the major league pitching puzzle for the Padres.
This weekend he will make a rehab start at High-A Lake Elsinore, according to Dennis Lin. I would not expect the Padres to rush him at all, and more than likely we wouldn’t see him near the majors until after the All-Star Break. If not as a spot starter, he could fill a bullpen spot for the inevitable injuries that happen during the season.
We saw a glimpse of him 2012, as he made 6 starts to the tune of a 2-3 record with a 6.21 ERA.
He is very athletic, ala Andrew Cashner, and actually tried making it as a shortstop after being drafted as pitcher. He struggled with strikeouts though, and since 2009 and has played exclusively as a pitcher.