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D-backs’ Merrill Kelly had blood clot removed, may miss rest of season

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly throws in the first inning during a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Friday, Aug 14, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly had a blood clot in his right shoulder, manager Torey Lovullo confirmed Wednesday.

The clot was removed and there was a catheter placed into the shoulder, Lovullo said. The manager added that the surgery went well.

Lovullo would not confirm whether or not Kelly could return this year, but said that with the shortened season, it might not be feasible.

“It seems fairly unlikely that he’ll be able to return,” Lovullo said.

The D-backs are already more than halfway through their season, and their final game is a month from Thursday. That leaves a minimal amount of time for Kelly to recover from surgery, even if they were to make the playoffs.

“What it means for the future, I can’t totally comment. We just need to get him through this immediate period of time,” Lovullo said. “Just get him into the right spot to go out and compete as soon as he possibly can.”

For now, Arizona will be without arguably their best pitcher this season. Each of Kelly’s first four appearances were quality starts as he had an ERA of 1.71.

In his fifth start, Kelly expressed discomfort during the game, and gave up four runs in five innings. Lovullo said Thursday that he did not know if that discomfort was because of the clot.

The pitcher was scratched from his scheduled start Monday.

If Aug. 19 was his final appearance, Kelly will finish the year with a 2.59 ERA and 0.989 WHIP in 31.1 innings pitched. His 29 strikeouts to five walks stands as one of the 10 best K/BB ratios in the league.

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