General Manager Mike Hazen said Kelly could begin playing catch eight weeks after surgery, putting him in position to have a relatively normal offseason and report to spring training in good health.
Hazen said the team’s medical staff is hopeful Kelly will make a full recovery, and Hazen did not make it sound like the procedure will adversely affect the Diamondbacks’ forthcoming decision on the $4.25 million club option in Kelly’s contract for 2021.
“We haven’t had any formal discussions on options for next year yet,” Hazen said, “but I wouldn’t see how this would have a major impact on that decision right now.”
Kelly gave the Diamondbacks five strong starts to open the season, logging a 2.59 ERA in 31 1/3 innings. His season ended on Aug. 24 when he was scratched from a start against the Colorado Rockies. He said that day he had been dealing with discomfort, pressure and discoloration in his shoulder for about 10 days but that the situation had recently intensified.
“I could just tell,” Kelly said, “it was time to get this thing taken care of.”
The next day, Kelly had a catheter inserted into his right shoulder to treat a blood clot. He has since consulted with Texas-based specialist Dr. Gregory Pearl, who will perform the procedure on Wednesday morning.
His job to lose
Right-hander Kevin Ginkel blew his first save opportunity when he served up a game-tying solo homer to the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts in a game last week, but he got another chance two days later and nailed down a 6-5 win over the Giants in San Francisco.
Manager Torey Lovullo said he is likely to stick with Ginkel as his closer for the time being.
“Even though he gave up the lead (against the Dodgers), I thought he threw the ball and was repeating his pitches very well,” Lovullo said.
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Lovullo said he gave Ginkel the first crack at replacing Archie Bradley, who was traded to the Cincinnati Reds last week, in part because of how dominant he was late last year, when he posted a 1.48 ERA in 25 games in August and September.
“He was virtually unhittable last year,” Lovullo said. “If you can go back and remember some of the things he was doing to set up Archie and help us win baseball games, he was a strong reason why we won 85 games. He was directly related to the success we had through September.”
He said he has tried to keep that success in mind, even despite some of the struggles Ginkel has endured so far this season. Ginkel entered Tuesday with a 6.91 ERA in 17 games.