Dodgers Roster: Phil Bickford Designated For Assignment, Joe Kelly Activated

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Phil Bickford was designated for assignment in order for Joe Kelly to be added to the Los Angeles Dodgers active roster on Saturday.

Kelly is in his second stint with the Dodgers, with the first coming from 2019-2021. He then signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the White Sox in February 2022.

Over parts of two seasons with the White Sox, he went 2-8 with two saves, a 5.59 ERA, 3.14 FIP and 1.47 WHIP in 74 games (one start). This year, Kelly was 1-5 with a 4.97 ERA, 3.25 FIP and 1.31 WHIP in 31 appearances for the White Sox.

He missed just over two weeks in July due to right elbow inflammation. Kelly also landed on the 15-day injured list in April because of a right groin strain.

Some of Kelly’s peripherals suggest he could be primed for improvement, as he’s striking out a career-best 32% of hitters and inducing ground balls at a 56.2% rate. One notable change for Kelly is he’s largely abandoned throwing his curveball, which the Dodgers leveraged.

Kelly said he is looking forward to working with Dodgers pitching coaches once again. Manager Dave Roberts said he expects the right-hander to immediately be among the options for high-leverage situations.

Kelly is on track to become a free agent after the 2023 season.

Phil Bickford regressed with Dodgers

Bickford’s career with the Dodgers included multiple ups and downs, with this season bringing about more inconsistency. Bickford was a revelation upon joining the team in 2021, only to fall short of meeting those results in two ensuing years.

Over parts of three seasons with the Dodgers, Bickford went 8-6 with one save, a 4.11 ERA, 4.07 FIP and 1.19 WHIP in 152 relief appearances.

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