Dodgers’ Dave Roberts committed with struggling Joe Kelly ‘to continue to run him out there’

0
36
dodgers-dave-roberts-committed-with-struggling-joe-kelly-to-continue-to-run-him-out-there

ANAHEIM — As long as Joe Kelly remains on the active roster and healthy, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts really has no choice.

“I’m going to continue to run him out there,” Roberts said of reliever Joe Kelly a day after Kelly’s latest stumbles.

Roberts had done that selectively for about a month without putting Kelly in many (if any) high-leverage situations before sending him into Monday night’s game with the score tied. The results looked like progress – Kelly had a 2.57 ERA and .154 batting average against in his eight appearances before Monday.

The eighth inning against the Angels represented a costly reminder that Kelly is not ready to pitch in the crucial situations for which the Dodgers signed him last winter. He walked three, threw two wild pitches and gave up two runs to take the loss.

Three relievers were unavailable, limiting Roberts’ options Monday night. If he is going to “continue to run him out there,” Roberts is likely to go back to picking his spots for Kelly more judiciously.

“I know ultimately that we need him to be able to pitch high-leverage again,” Roberts said. “I hope Joe feels – and I do believe – that he can pitch in whatever leverage right now. I want every player to feel that way. And that’s our goal, that’s my goal. To say whether that’s Thursday or Friday or next week, I’m not sure yet. But I know he’s going to be ready for whatever situation I call upon him.”

DRAFT NEWS

The Dodgers have reached contract agreements with 18 of their 41 draft picks, including first-rounder Kody Hoese, a power-hitting third baseman from Tulane.

Also among the signees are pitcher Ryan Pepiot (third), pitcher Nick Robertson (seventh), left fielder Ryan Ward (eighth), pitcher Alec Gamboa (ninth), shortstop Zac Ching (10th), pitcher Mitchell Tyranski (12th), pitcher Jacob Cantleberry (13th), pitcher Sean Mellen (14th), outfielder Joe Vranesh (15th), pitcher Jeff Belge (18th), shortstop Jimmy Titus (22nd), pitcher Cyrillo Watson (23rd), center fielder Dan Sinatro (32nd), third baseman Julio Carrion (33rd), and center fielder Justin Washington (35th).

Hoese will receive a $2.7 million bonus, the approximate slot value for the 25th choice overall. But the total bonus outlay for the 16 signed players is less than the combined slot value of each pick. Texas high school pitcher Jimmy Lewis, the Dodgers’ second-round pick (78th overall), is expected to command an over-slot signing bonus in order to get him to pass on his commitment to LSU. High school shortstop Brennan Milone (28th round) is expected to honor his commitment to South Carolina rather than sign.

ALEXANDER OUT

Left-hander Scott Alexander was placed on the Injured List on Tuesday with inflammation in his left forearm. Left-hander Caleb Ferguson was promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take his spot in the Dodgers’ bullpen.

Alexander said the discomfort had been bothering him for “a week or two” and said it felt like more of a biceps issue than the forearm.

“I was warming up last night and – it wouldn’t have been good to go into the game that way,” Alexander said.

Roberts said he thinks Alexander’s struggles this year – left-handed batters have hit .364 with two home runs against him – are “a physical thing more than a mental thing or a mechanical thing” and his performance will improve once he gets healthy.

“At times, his arm just hasn’t felt right,” Roberts said. “We’ve tried to work through it over the last couple weeks. There’s been a sharp pain with certain throws and the ball just wasn’t coming out.

“I think if you look back at when he first hurt that hamstring (in late April) … from that point on, the ball just hasn’t been down and obviously the numbers reflect that.”

Ferguson returns after four weeks in Triple-A where he allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out 11 in six innings.

BEATY UPDATE

Dodgers first baseman Matt Beaty (left hip flexor strain) played first base and went 1 for 4 with a double off the center-field wall and a run scored on Tuesday and is 2 for 7 in two rehab games with high Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.

UP NEXT

Cubs (TBA) at Dodgers (LHP Clayton Kershaw, 5-1, 3.00 ERA), Thursday, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available), 570 AM

Staff writer J.P. Hoornstra and correspondent Pete Marshall contributed to this notebook.