San Diego Padres need to add Joe Kelly to the bullpen
The Padres do not possess a lights-out bullpen this season, but they will need one to make up ground in their chase for a postseason berth. The Friars leaned too heavily on the bullpen in the first half. The numbers do not lie, as the pen’s ERA has progressively increased each month. Collectively, the unit ended July with a 6.47 ERA.
Josh Hader is a premier closer, but the Padres must add a quality setup reliever at the trade deadline. Joe Kelly is the right target, as the Chicago White Sox are looking to sell expensive pieces off their roster. In two seasons with the Sox, Kelly has a 5.54 ERA. It is two runs more than his career ERA (3.94).
Kelly is the perfect addition for the Friars, as they’re desperately seeking a reliever with pitching experience in big games. He is a two-time World Series champion who cherishes pitching with the game on the line. Kelly and Hader would be a lethal duo in October.
The next stops (Toronto and Detroit) on the current three-city road trip are going to set the course for the Padres at the trade deadline. The upcoming six games will be an audition on whether the team is a contender or a pretender for the 2023 season. If the Friars are playing competitive baseball, Preller will seek to improve the roster.