Kelly Activated, Buehler Goes on the IL

Thursday, September 10, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers activated Joe Kelly, who will begin his five-game suspension tonight, and put Walker Buehler’s blister on the 10-day IL.

Kelly will be essential for the Dodgers during the playoffs. During the 2018 playoffs and World Series, Kelly’s brilliance enabled the Boston Red Sox to win their world championship. The Dodgers and Kelly feel that he needs four or five outings to be ready for the playoffs. Hopefully, the IL stint helped Kelly’s control, which has plagued for the entire season.

Buehler pitched Tuesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks and performed fantastically for the first two innings. Then, he fell apart, allowing five runs in the third before manager Dave Roberts mercifully took him out. On camera, Buehler obviously had a raw spot on his index finger. The raw spot looked nasty, and everyone who saw it knew another IL stint was coming. The Dodgers hope Buehler will be ready for the playoffs.

The Dodger starting rotation is questionable, particularly when Buehler’s blister bothers him. After the veteran Clayton Kershaw who has a history of back problems but is having a good year, the Dodgers have three or four inexperienced starters.

Dustin May has been phenomenal, but he has not developed a satisfactory changeup to keep the opposition off balance. His sinking fastball and cutter have made the opposing hitters silly. Sometimes, his command problems have caused problems.

Although Julio Urìas burst onto the scene in 2016 as a nineteen-year-old, the left-hander has not impressed as a starter during the 2020 season. He has marvelous stuff, but he has not had a good command of his fastball. He does not get many strikeouts. He cannot throw his fastball for a strike consistently. He has not had good rhythm when he pitches, so the fielders get on their heels, causing them to make sloppy defensive plays.

Tony Gonsolin is the most polished young starter even though he spent some time at the alternate site. He has a superb quality of pitches and usually throws them for strikes. Although his last two outings were not as good as the first ones, Gonsolin has kept his team in the game. Personally, Gonsolin should start the second game of the playoffs.

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