Joe Kelly went just 3 2/3 innings, his second-shortest start of the season, taking the loss against the Orioles Tuesday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly's spot in starting rotation may be tenuous with 1 win in last 13 starts

Ryan Hannable
June 23, 2015 - 7:37 pm

Things are not going well for Red Sox starter Joe Kelly. Following another loss, a 6-4 decision to the Orioles Tuesday night, the right-hander's record is now 2-5 on the season, but has just one win in his last 13 starts. Tuesday he lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out two. It was his second-shortest start of the season. Additionally, it was his sixth start of five or fewer innings and sixth start allowing at least five runs this season, which is tied for the most in the majors. While manager John Farrell said it was too soon to comment on whether or not Kelly would make his next start, he did indicate that may be up for discussion. "Yeah, you know, we haven't had a chance to review all that, but we're certainly well aware of some of the up and down path that's been for Joe to this point," Farrell said. Kelly does have options remaining, so he could be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket if the team feels that would be better than having him pitch out of the bullpen. With Brian Johnson 8-4 with a 2.80 ERA this season, he would be a possibility to take Kelly's spot in the rotation if he were to be taken out, as he is the next pitcher in line to make the jump to the majors from the minors. The biggest issue for Kelly Tuesday was allowing four runs in the second inning, highlighted by a three-run home run from No. 9 hitter David Lough. Kelly's ERA is now 5.26 on the season, which is the third-highest in the American League (minimum of 60 innings). He said the biggest issue against the Orioles was his command. "My command was off today," he said. "I couldn't throw the fastball where I wanted too and fell behind some hitters. Ultimately led to the big inning there and ended up running out of the game there." When Kelly was removed in the fourth inning it appeared he was shaking his head when Farrell walked out to get him. After the game he said he had no issue with being taken out when he did, throwing 87 pitches. "I mean, there's no argument there," Kelly said. "I wasn't throwing the ball where I wanted to and the skipper decided it was time." With just two wins on he season, it's tied for the fewest in the American League with a minimum of 60 innings pitched. He has four quality starts in 14 starts this season, the fewest of the starters currently in the rotation. Even Eduardo Rodriguez in just five starts has as many quality starts as Kelly. If he were to be taken out of the rotation, there isn't much of an argument to be made to counter the move. "I don't think I am pressing out there," Kelly said. "I put up a couple of good ones and then a bad one, a couple of good ones. It's something I have to go out there and be a little more consistent and like I said get a couple in a row, better ones."