Dodgers Injury Update: Joe Kelly Begins Rehab Assignment

Originally published by

The Los Angeles Dodgers have dealt with numerous issues in both their starting rotation and the bullpen throughout the season, which led to the team acquiring Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly from the Chicago White Sox at the trade deadline.

Lynn has been up-and-down in his starts with the Dodgers, while Kelly was one of their better relievers in four games before landing on the 15-day injured list on August 13 due to right forearm/elbow inflammation. It was Kelly’s third IL stint of the season after he missed time in April because of a groin strain and 16 days in July with elbow trouble.

Kelly is not expected to be 100% for the rest of the season as he is likely to continue dealing with some pain. However, the belief is he will be able to finish out the year and contribute in the postseason.

The 35-year-old began throwing bullpens sessions in the middle of August, which then turned into facing live hitters. Then on Saturday, Kelly began a rehab assignment with the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

Kelly pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit on nine pitches, seven of which were strikes, while facing the minimum. Kelly’s velocity also showed no signs of injury, which was the most encouraging part of the rehab outing.

He is expected to make at least one more rehab appearance.

Prior to the IL stint, Kelly collected seven strikeouts in 3.2 scoreless innings across four appearances with the Dodgers. He quickly earned the trust of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and pitched in multiple high-leverage spots.

Overall this season, Kelly is a combined 2-5 with a 4.41 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 35 appearances for the White Sox and Dodgers. When Kelly returns, he should once again pitch in high-leverage spots for L.A.

Dodgers expect Joe Kelly to return next week

The Dodgers expect Kelly to return to the club for their series against the San Diego Padres. The two clubs face-off at Dodger Stadium from September 11-13, with Tuesday looking like the potential activation day for Kelly.

Gus Varland would seem to be the odd-man out once Kelly returns as he is unlikely to find himself on the postseason roster while every other pitcher on the active roster is competing for a role.

The Dodgers could also option Emmet Sheehan or Ryan Pepiot, but with their lack of available starting pitching, that would be a risky decision with the state of their rotation.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!