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Casey Kelly to pitch full time

Dec 8, 2009, 9:00 AM EDT

The Red Sox’ number one prospect — Casey Kelly — has thus far been a dual threat, splitting his time between the mound and shortstop.  To date Kelly has said over and over that he wants to play short.  The Sox want him to pitch.  According to Amalie Benjamin, the Sox have won this battle, and Kelly will pitch full time.

There seems to be a lot of spin about all of this, however.  Kelly is on record as wanting to be a shortstop. The Red Sox say that they “wanted him to do what was in his heart” and that “[y]ou force
someone to do something in a game as difficult as baseball, you’re
probably not going to get good results.” Then Benjamin describes what was essentially a sit-down in which the Sox told Kelly that him pitching is what’s best for the organization. Then he decides to pitch.

Does that sound like a kid doing what he wants to do, or a kid doing what he’s told?  I mean, it’s not like he can say “sorry, Boston. I’m going to New York now. They could use a young shortstop in their system.”

  1. RobRob - Dec 8, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    What? Like the Red Sox couldn’t use a young shortstop in their system, too?

  2. ralf - Dec 8, 2009 at 9:23 AM

    A lot of guys come out of HS or college with high upside as both pitchers and position players, and they are almost always forced one way or the other by the time they sign their first pro contract. Kudos to the Red Sox for giving him a chance to try both in the minors for a couple of years. Another small example of why Boston is one of the most well-run organizations in the game, big-budget or not. (As a Twins fan I hate to admit it, but it’s true.) However, as long as they are signing his paychecks they have every right to tell him where he’s playing.

  3. Joe - Dec 8, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    I have no doubt that this is what Kelly wants. He wants to play in the major leagues, which he can probably do given his arm, and not in the independant leagues, which he can probably do given his bat.

  4. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Dec 8, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Casey Kelly, Dave Stieb. Dave, here’s some kid who wants to pitch and play SS.

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