Joe Kelly

Red Sox notebook: Joe Kelly seems ready to make next start

Rob Bradford
March 19, 2015 - 9:02 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Others might still be wondering, but Joe Kelly seems like he has little doubt he will make his next start, Sunday. After throwing 32 pitches in a bullpen session outside JetBlue Park Thursday, Kelly proclaimed that the biceps ailment that had forced him out of his last outing was no longer an issue. "That'€™s the plan," said Kelly of keeping on his current schedule. "We'€™ve been working on this thing and trying to get my arm feel as good as possible and get ready for the season. Obviously you want to be healthy and feeling good. My arm is feeling good right now. Obviously a lot better when I had to come out of the game. After today, my bullpen session, I feel really confident where I'€™m going to be at in two days." While Kelly didn't truly air out any of his pitches, he did integrate all his offerings, including the off-speed stuff that had bothered him during his recent 2 2/3-inning outing. "I felt good on my bullpen," said Kelly, who will appear on the Hot Stove Show on WEEI Thursday night (6). "I didn'€™t throw it obviously 100 percent, which I never do in my bullpens. What I got out there today was I got my body going, tried to see how the arm feels. I knew it was feeling fine, but it was more for staff, medical staff, coaching staff. For them to see and make sure I'€™m a guy who likes to pitch through a lot of things. It was more for them. But I felt pretty good out there. I threw about 70 percent. It went well." Kelly added, "Obviously on my off-speed pitches I didn'€™t put the intensity I would in the game because I wanted to go out there and get out feeling good and not overwork it, get tired or start breaking up nasty stuff just in case it wasn'€™t feeling up to par. But today went well and I'€™ll definitely a good step to try and pitch in two days." The last obstacle for Kelly to clear is approval from the Red Sox' medical staff upon arriving at the park Friday. The pitcher was optimistic he would be getting clearance. "I'€™m going to feel good tomorrow," he said. "It usually feels better the day after and today it felt fine, so I know I'€™m going to feel pretty good tomorrow." -- Speaking to reporters in Dunedin, John Farrell was non-committal in regard to who might serve as the team's backup closer if something happened to Koji Uehara. He did, however, mention the possibilities of either Edward Mujica or Alexi Ogando stepping up if needed. "It depends on matchups, history, who has pitched recently," Farrell said. "There could be a number of things that come into play. I can'€™t say just always ride the hot hand. Those guys are going to find themselves in the highest leverage and that could be in the seventh inning as well, depending where we are in the lineup." -- Farrell noted that Clay Buchholz will remain back in camp and take his turn pitching to minor leaguers Tuesday rather than making the trip across state to Jupiter. -- Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves -- or "Francisco Delgado" as he is called while playing a Detroit Tigers pitcher in the movie "For the Love of the Game" -- said that Koji Uehara plans on resuming some light throwing Friday.