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Joe Kelly will make at least one more rehab start before rejoining the Cardinals

Jul 3, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

joe kelly getty Getty Images

Joe Kelly tossed four shutout innings in a minor-league rehab start Tuesday at Triple-A, but Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals aren’t quite ready to activate him from the disabled list.

That means Kelly will make at least one more rehab start and rookie Marco Gonzalez will get at least one more turn in the rotation after allowing 10 runs in 9.1 innings through his first two outings.

Kelly has been out for nearly three months with a hamstring injury and tossed only 49 pitches Tuesday, so it makes sense to have him build up more arm strength. And manager Mike Matheny also told Hummel that there was “still not a real good feel for his off-speed pitches” Tuesday.

Kelly had a 0.59 ERA in three starts before being shut down and a 2.83 ERA in 34 career starts for the Cardinals, but this injury has proven to be a lot more significant than initially expected.

  1. SocraticGadfly - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Shock me. I didn’t expect him back before the All-Star break, and I still won’t believe Kelly is back until he’s actually back.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:40 AM


      I’m happy he’s progressing in his rehab but tempered in any “rotation changing” expectations.

      Even when fully healthy he walks the tightrope – tons of base runners, few K’s and low innings/high pitch count outings.

      Hopefully he can contribute positively because right now the rotation is Waino and pray for rain.

      The continuing unknown status of Wacha is troubling as well, the less they say the worse I suspect.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        Indeed on both. Kelly’s a serviceable 4/5 spot pitcher. That said, since he wants to fancy himself a batsman, maybe he can get an OF tryout?

        On Wacha, I’m about ready to push back his earliest likely return date from “post-All Start break” to “around the trade deadline.”

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        I’m fully prepared for a “shutdown for the season” non-announcement. They’ll drop a few positive tidbits about his rehab along the way then next thing we know it’s September and he’s toast.

        They’re in a tough spot regardless, they’re powerless and don’t score many runs so unless Wacha comes back as a power hitting offensive force…..

        Here’s Joe Strauss on a plethora of Cards subjects from this morning on AM 920, listen here:

        Click on “Segment 3”–We-Aint-Changin.aspx

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        I too am fully prepared for a “shutdown” non-announcement. It’s just the way they do things.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 3, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        “Tanana, Ryan, and 2 days of cryin …”

        “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain … ”

        “Waino, raino and down the drain-o … “

  2. okwhitefalcon - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Per’s Jen Langosch twitter:

    Jenifer Langosch ‏@LangoschMLB · 3m
    Per Matheny, #stlcards don’t expectJoe Kelly to return to the rotation until after the All-Star break. That means two more rehab starts.

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