Merrill Kelly scratched by D-backs before Monday’s start, placed on IL

Aug 24, 2020, 6:33 PM | Updated: 11:53 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly (29) delivers against the Texas Rangers in the ...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly (29) delivers against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

(AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly was scratched before his start on Monday against the Colorado Rockies.

Kelly is out due to a right shoulder nerve impingement and was placed on the 10-day injured list.

After the game on Monday, Kelly said this has been an issue that he’s been dealing with and managing for the past 10 days. Kelly had an MRI a few days ago, and in the last 72 hours, he said it was getting worse and made the call in warmups to get the injury “taken care of.”

Kelly said all the evaluations are in a preliminary stage and he doesn’t know if it will require surgery. He also wasn’t sure on a timeline, as Monday’s game was Arizona’s 30th, the midway point of the season.

At the back-end of the rotation, the start to the season for Kelly and Zac Gallen has been the bright spots of the D-backs pitching staff.

Kelly is the only D-backs starter with more than one win (3) this season and also leads all Arizona starting pitchers in WHIP (0.99). Through five outings this season, Kelly is 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA.

Right-handed pitcher Taylor Clarke is taking the place of Kelly. In 15.1 innings of relief work this season, Clarke has allowed only four earned runs for a 2.35 ERA.

The D-backs are already without ace Madison Bumgarner, who is on the 10-day injured list for a back strain, and was replaced in the rotation by left-hander Alex Young.

Taking Kelly’s place on the active roster is right-handed pitcher Riley Smith.

Smith, a 25-year-old picked by the D-backs in the 24th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, has not yet pitched in the majors.

After moving up to Double-A Jackson in 2019, Smith was called up to Triple-A Reno that same season. He had a 4.43 ERA over 25 starts last year at those two levels, most notably posting a 6.89 ERA in 12 starts for the Aces.

Smith is not ranked in MLB Pipeline’s top 30 D-backs prospects.

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Merrill Kelly scratched by D-backs before Monday’s start, placed on IL