With Casey Kelly ignore the numbers

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by Ken on June 26, 2010

Portland Sea Dogs pitching coach Bob Kipper says don’t be too quick to judge Casey Kelly.

Kelly, the #1 pitching prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization, commanded last season at the Single-A level with Greenville and Salem, where his combined final numbers were 7-5, 2.08 ERA with 74 strikeouts and only 16 walks in 95 innings. But his body of work to-date with Double-A Portland (1-3, 4.85) suggests to some that opposing batters may have the 20-year old Kelly figured out. 

Kipper, whose own MLB debut came at age 20, the first of 8 seasons with the Angels, Pirates and Twins, says Kelly, is going through an adjustment. At this level, Kipper says, hitters have more plate discipline. Result: smarter At-Bats. Don’t bet against Kelly. Possessing an easy, fluid delivery and live arm, Kelly is on the fast track to perform at Fenway Park. Kipper expects that day is coming soon.

The evidence in June suggests Kipper knows what he sees. After going 0-3 with a 6.51 ERA in April and May, Kelly is 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in three starts this month. He’s scheduled to pitch again Saturday night at New Britain against the cellar-dwelling Rock Cats (Twins).

UPDATE: Kelly made his fourth June start on Saturday night, June 26th (prior to this interview) at New Britain, and came away with a no-decision (5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO) versus the last place Rock Cats (Twins).

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