He's a 20 year old kid who just transitioned from shortstop to a full time starting pitcher. He turned down a full ride to Tennessee to be the University's starting quarterback. He's athletically gifted but still trying to find his ultimate role in the game of baseball. Today, he gave you reason to believe he's the real deal.
On the mound for the big league club, under the pressure of an ESPN national broadcast, and against an elite major league lineup, Casey Kelly kept things in check.
He was admittedly nervous this afternoon, but lasted three innings against the Rays, looking dominate at times while keeping his composure when their offense threatened. He threw 61 pitches, striking out 4 (including the meat of their order), while giving up two runs on three hits to the mighty Rays lineup (those last four words still just don't seem right when I type them, but it's true).
Kelly had most recently been facing double AA competition down at the minor league complex, but fared well today on a much bigger stage and being under the microscope.
ITM got a close up look at Kelly while down in Ft. Myers, and I can say without a doubt that the ability is there. His stuff is electric. As he matures as a pitcher, there is no reason he can't be a force in the big leagues......let's just hope he's not rushed in that process.
5 Days, Go Sox.