One of the pitchers who must improve for the Dodgers was a big part of the bullpen last season. Joe Kelly was in his first season with the Dodgers last season, after coming over from the Boston Red Sox.
Kelly started his career as a starter with the St. Louis Cardinals and then began working out of the bullpen. In his first full season out of the bullpen for the Red Sox in 2017, Kelly was able to total some impressive numbers. That season, Kelly totaled an ERA of 2.79, which was the second best of his career.
In 2018, Kelly’s ERA did jump up in the regular season to 4.39, but his work in the playoffs was outstanding. During the 2018 postseason, Kelly pitched 11.1 innings, totaling and ERA of 0.79 with two holds.
The performance of Kelly in the 2018 postseason is likely what caught the eye of the Dodgers. However, Kelly’s first regular season and postseason with them wasn’t good. In the regular season, Kelly totaled an ERA of 4.56. In a small workload of 2.2 innings in the postseason, Kelly’s ERA was a 23.14 over three appearances.
In 2020, Los Angeles would certainly like to see Kelly get back to that playoff form of 2018 or the regular-season form of 2017 with the Red Sox.