Back in February, I wrote a post here at Bleacher Nation entitled, “How the Cubs Subtly Reinvent Pitchers Like Brett Anderson, Eddie Butler, Alec Mills, and Casey Kelly.”
And while I stand by what I said about each and everyone of those pitchers – as well as the strategy the Cubs have taken to reinvent them – the article hasn’t exactly earned a victor lap, has it?
Brett Anderson was recently designated for assignment, after a long rehab process, which came after a long period of ineffectiveness at the big league level. Eddie Butler didn’t quite put it together (yet) at the big league level and was bounced back to Triple-A. Alec Mills made three goodish starts for the Iowa Cubs earlier this season but was put on the disabled list (twice) early in the year and has hardly pitched this season.
Oooookay, then. Reclamations don’t always work out.
Kelly, 27, has now pitched for the Triple-A affiliates of the Padres (2015), Braves (2016), and Cubs (2017) in the last three years alone. And, in fact, now that I look at it, he’s been picked up by the San Francisco Giants and has already made a start for their Triple-A affiliate, making it four teams in the past three seasons.
Clearly, there’s something scouts like about Kelly, a former top prospect, and, clearly, there’s something that’s not quite working out.
Through 60.0 IP for the Cubs this season, Kelly had a 4.65 ERA (5.65 FIP) and a healthy 17.3% home run to fly ball ratio. Unfortunately, Kelly was just not able to strike many batters out, and they were hitting him well enough (.299 average against) to make it hurt.
Now, he’ll try his luck with the Giants and I hope things work out for him. At just 27 years old, he still has some youth on his side, so maybe he’ll finally figure it all out.