Guess who's back, back again? Casey's back; tell a friend! It has been nearly three years since Casey Kelly made his most recent major league appearance; in fact, the picture above is from that game, an 8-4 loss to the Dodgers on September 27, 2012. As Corey Brock reported on Twitter earlier today, Kelly is scheduled to make his return to a big league mound next Friday at home versus the Diamondbacks, 1,093 days since, you know, that game I mentioned in the previous sentence.
That game that I mentioned in the past two sentences was just the sixth of Kelly's major league career. As you might know -- I don't want to make any assumptions about you -- Kelly was acquired before the 2011 season in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, along with Anthony Rizzo [I swear on everything I hold dear, I just involuntarily rested my face in my palm for several seconds after typing his name] and an Eric Patterson to be named later. Ranked the #31 prospect in baseball by Baseball America at the time, he spent the entirety of 2011 in AA San Antonio, where he put together an 11-6 record backed by a 3.98 ERA in 142.1 innings over 27 starts.
His injury woes began before he reached the majors; he missed three months due to an elbow strain in 2012; he went 0-2 with a 3.35 ERA in 37.2 innings spread across eight starts in three minor league levels. Of course, pitchers' win-loss records are meaningless, but they're somehow even more meaningless when pertaining to minor league pitchers - especially ones who are making rehab starts. Anyhoozle, he did in fact make his much-anticipated big league debut that year; he clocked in on August 27 and pitched six innings of three-hit ball as the Friars shut the Braves out three-naught. He wound up with a 2-3 record and a 6.21 ERA in his 29 MLB innings to date. There's no telling how much of that shaky showing was a result of discomfort or injury.
Kelly missed all of 2013 thanks to Tommy John surgery. He made just four starts in 2014; this time a groin injury stole his time. He fought through elbow trouble this year and appeared in 31 games, 17 of them starts. Remember what I said about win-loss records? Okay, good. That said, he went 2-10 this year between AA San Antonio and AAA El Paso, with a combined 6.17 ERA and 74 strikeouts over 97.1 innings, while walking 39 batters.
Like I said earlier, I don't like to speak for other people, but I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that ALL OF US HERE AT GASLAMP BALL are wholeheartedly behind Casey, and wish him nothing but the best next Friday and every other day.