Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly, Christian Vazquez see intersquad action in Fort Myers

Mike Petraglia
March 27, 2015 - 10:13 am

With the Red Sox in Orlando on Friday, right-hander Joe Kelly stayed behind to pitch in an intrasquad game against Red Sox High-A players. Kelly went three innings and allowed a hit and a run, striking out five. He walked two and threw 53 pitches (31 strikes). Kelly, who has been limited by a biceps injury, said he felt on his game. "A lot better than it did throwing throughout camp," he told reporters in Florida. "Definitely a good sign. . . . I didn'€™t feel tired out there today. My arm felt good. My body felt good. Three innings, 50 pitches, I was right around that. Stuffwise and healthwise, I felt really good." Making the outing more encouraging for Kelly was the fact that he was able to throw his offspeed pitches without pain or restriction. "That last inning, I basically threw all sliders and curveballs, just to make sure that it had the right spin and zip on it, see how it would  feel on the arm," Kelly said. "I threw those and felt good with throwing them." Kelly anticipates throwing a bullpen in a couple of days and then making another start on Wednesday. If the Red Sox want to reserve the right to backdate a potential disabled list stint to open the season '€“ since they won't need a fifth starter until April 12 '€“ Kelly cannot pitch in front of a paying crowd. That means his next start would likely be in a minor league game. Also, the first day a player can be placed on the DL, either that day or retroactively, is March 27, which means the first day a player can be activated during the season is April 11. This would perfectly fit a schedule that has Kelly returning to start on Sunday, April 12 against the Yankees. Kelly wasn't the only player to take the field in the minor league game. Catcher Christian Vazquez (elbow) caught Kelly and went 1-for-2 with a walk. Manager John Farrell acknowledged in Lake Buena Vista that Vazquez was prohibited from throwing to any base to protect the elbow until an exam is performed. Right-hander Anthony Varvaro recorded seven outs over two innings, starting opposite Kelly. He allowed one hit and a walk while striking out one on 28 pitches. Xander Bogaerts played all six innings in the field at shortstop. In two plate appearances, he went 1-for-2, with a strikeout looking and a double. Shane Victorino did not play in the field. In five plate appearances between a pair of games, he went 0-for-4 with two walks, a flyout to center and three strikeouts (2 looking).