you laughed a little bit when Joe Kelly brought up his own name in the race for
the 2015 American League Cy Young Award in January.
all, was a guy we figured was, at best, Boston’s No. 5 starting pitcher this
season. Kelly, who was on his way out of the Cardinals’ rotation when he was
traded to the Red Sox, was the guy we figured would be the odd man when Ben
Cherington finally pulled the trigger on the Cole Hamels trade.
before spring training and the Super Bowl, Kelly strolled into the WEEI
broadcast setup during the Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwood and made a pretty
"I want your listeners to know I’m going to win
the Cy Young this year,” Kelly told Mut and Bradford. “Just letting everyone
know so when I win it you heard it here first."
Nearly three months later, Red Sox fans are really
hoping that Kelly wasn’t joking because the Hamels-less Red Sox rotation isn’t
giving anybody —
other than the rest of the AL East — much reason for optimism.
gets the start Friday night against the Orioles, looked great last time out,
striking out eight Yankees in seven one-hit innings in the Bronx. He hit 97
miles per hour.
follows the path of Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson and Wade Miley, however, the
Red Sox will be down at least five runs by the third inning.
promising starts the first time out, Buchholz, Masterson and Miley were
disasters in their second start. Well, to be fair, Masterson looked OK for the
first four innings before falling apart in the fifth. Buchholz and Miley were
bad from the first pitch, each walking the leadoff hitter.
We knew the
Red Sox were a team without an ace heading into the season. Now, they look like
a team without a No. 2 starter as well.
Porcello went eight innings in Monday’s 9-4 win over the Nationals, but he has
given up three home runs in his first two starts and living dangerously high in
the strike zone for a guy known a sinkerball pitcher.
We know we
can’t trust Buchholz, and we honestly have no idea what we’re getting in
Masterson and Miley.
doesn’t appear the Red Sox will trade for Hamels anytime soon, if at all, the
importance of Kelly to the rotation is magnified with the struggles of the other
While he was
6-4 with a 4.20 ERA in Boston and St. Louis last season and it seems highly
unlikely he’ll beat out King Felix for the Cy Young, Kelly has given us reason
to be slightly optimistic for a solid 2015.
10-5 with a 2.69 ERA in helping lead the Cardinals to the World Series. Plus,
Kelly seems to own the Yankees.
Kelly has never pitched more than 124 innings, a statistic that will definitely
not help garner any Cy Young votes.
doesn’t have to win the Cy Young for the Red Sox to be successful. It would
sure help, though, if his January radio comments don’t look laughable by the
time the dog days of summer set in.
The Sox need Kelly to be a 200-inning pitcher who
doesn’t give up seven runs in the first inning of any start this season. It will be very good for Boston if he can just be a guy who shows the rest of the league that at very least the Red
Sox have a solid No. 2 in their rotation.
But if you feel we need a Cy Young Award winner, rest
assured that Kelly got one major prediction right during that appearance on
WEEI. Kelly told Mut and Bradford that the Patriots were going to beat the
If that confident pitcher goes 2 for 2 as a
prognosticator, Red Sox fans will have the last laugh.