D-backs reinstate Merrill Kelly from IL after blood clot, Jose Ruiz gets DFA’d
Jul 25, 2023, 2:33 PM
(Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks reinstated starting pitcher Merrill Kelly from the 15-day injured list ahead of his start Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The team designated reliever Jose Ruiz for assignment, leaving the roster at 39 players. Ruiz appeared in 34 games with a 5.89 ERA and 1.65 WHIP, allowing two homers and three earned runs in his last outing of relief Sunday in a loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
Kelly went on the IL on June 27 after the team discovered a small blood clot in his right calf following a start in San Francisco against the Giants.
Manager Torey Lovullo said last week Kelly was most likely going to pitch against the Cardinals so long as he checked the right boxes. He threw 85 pitches in the Arizona Complex League on Thursday, according to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert.
Kelly put up an argument to make the MLB All-Star Game in the first half of the season with a 3.22 ERA in 16 starts, as Arizona went 10-6 in those games. He has a 1.14 WHIP and career-high 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
He said he felt discomfort ahead of his start on June 24 but felt normal during the game. He woke up the next day with swelling in his lower right leg and went to a hospital in San Francisco to receive an ultrasound.
“My main priority is obviously to make sure that this is taken care of and gone first and foremost,” Kelly said after going on the IL.
Lovullo at the time was optimistic Kelly could return sooner than later based on when they found the clot.
The D-backs pieced together starts in his absence, utilizing two bullpen games and MLB stints from prospect Brandon Pfaadt while getting help from the All-Star break.
However, Kelly’s presence in the rotation as a stabilizer behind ace Zac Gallen has been missed during a difficult time for Arizona. The D-backs are 8-15 since Kelly’s last outing.
They also lost starter Zach Davies to the IL with a back issue last week and have three youngsters in the rotation as they did in May when Davies missed time.
Kelly is tied on the team for sixth in terms of wins above replacement (Baseball Reference) this year at 1.8 even with the missed time.