Former Boston Red Sox pitching prospect Casey Kelly, the key player for the San Diego Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, had his right elbow examined by team doctors. The initial reports don’t sound good and it looks like Kelly will get a second opinion, which almost always results in Tommy John surgery.
Kelly was drafted by the Red Sox in the first round, 30th overall, in the 2008 June Amateur draft. The right handed pitcher signed a $3 million bonus and passed on the opportunity to play quarterback and baseball at the University of Tennessee. In his final season with Double-A Portland, Kelly went 3-5 with a 5.31 ERA over 95.0 innings.
Following the 2009 season, after spending two years in the Red Sox farm system, Kelly was traded along with Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes, and Eric Patterson to the Padres for first baseman Gonzalez. The pitching prospect was the main part of the deal for the Padres, who was the 24th ranked prospect in the major leagues by Baseball America.
After the trade, Kelly spent two seasons in the Padres minor league system before being called up to the big club in 2012. However, the Sarasota, Fla. native missed most of the season due to a right elbow strain, but he was able to avoid surgery. In his first season in the majors, he posted a 2-4 record with a 6.21 ERA in six starts.
The Padres were hoping Kelly would be a big part of the team’s starting rotation during the 2013 season. However, if the starting pitcher needs to have surgery, he will likely miss the entire season.