He ‘won’ the 5th starter position in Spring Training, beating out Carlos Martinez, who had the better statistical camp. The 5th spot was opened up with a injury to Jamie Garcia.
Kelly appears to have pulled his hamstring in the bottom of the 4th inning of today’s game against the Brewers trying to leg out a bunt single. He hit the bag, took a few steps clutching the back of his leg and summoned out the training staff.
The Cardinals are labeling it ‘tightness’.
He limped off the field and was replaced in the 5th inning with Seth Maness, who promptly jerked open the flood gates and surrendered 3 runs.
Conventional wisdom would believe that Carlos Martinez is still ‘stretched out’ from spring and will slide seamlessly into the 5th spot in the rotation while Kelly heals, if he needs to miss a start or more.
Typical recovery time for hamstring injuries labeled a ‘strain’ is days to weeks to months, pending the severity said strain.
Rick Horton, on the FSN telecast, reminded everyone not to be too quick to install Martinez as the new starting pitcher, mentioning the fact that manager Mike Matheny might not want to disrupt his rotation and his bullpen.
The bullpen has been a work in progress, to say the least, in 2014.
Keith Butler is rarely used. Seth Maness and Kevin Siegrist have been spotty. Even closer Trever Rosenthal hasn’t been lights out. So there might be something to keeping Martinez in the pen.
Then again, not getting the maximum amount of innings out of one of your most talented assets is a sabermetric no-no.
The Cardinals are in the midst of 20 straight days with a game. The Kelly leg situation will be monitored closely.