Padres News: Shawn Kelley Adds To Bullpen Depth


Change of scenery was something relief pitcher Shawn Kelley needed.

Getting away from the big apple and the clean-shaven Yankee laws, to the rugged and laid back atmosphere of San Diego, it just felt right for Kelley. “When they told me it was San Diego, my first thought was I get to grow my beard out and the weather’s great,” said Kelley to Dennis Lin of the U-T San Diego. “Then I started thinking about all the moves I had been seeing all off-season, and I pulled up the roster. I was like, ‘Wow, this is a pretty legit team right here. I might have a better chance in San Diego to go to the playoffs than in New York.’

Kelley saw all the moves that “Rockstar” general manager A.J. Preller was making and wanted to be a part of the new era in San Diego Padres baseball, “I want to compete and go to the playoffs and maybe win a World Series before it’s over. … The bullpens that are the best are rooting for each other and kind of take on the same mentality and pick each other up and care about each other. And that’s the vibe I get here.” 

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That’s the vibe that this franchise and city needs.

Kelley can bring that “win every year” attitude that he saw with the New York Yankees. Kelley is dominant against lefties with his torching slider and is confident with his stuff. “I have no problem throwing both pitches (fastball and slider) off the plate, up and down to lefties,” Kelley said. “I think with the advanced scouting reports and all the information we have, every lefty has at least one hole or two against a righty, and I feel like I have something I’m comfortable doing to match that. … I’ll do whatever I have to do to exploit a lefty’s weakness.”

Kelley is drawing comparisons to another former bullpen great in Luke Gregerson, who was a setup man at Petco Park for a few years before being traded to Oakland prior to the 2014 season. During his five seasons with the Padres Gregerson, who was mean against left-handed hitting with his slider, hung up a 2.94 ERA.

There’s no doubt that Kelley could do the same thing. With forgiving Petco Park compared to hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, Kelley could thrive in the wild, wild west.

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