2011: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 BB, 0 K in 0.1 IP
2012 Projections: N/A
Expected Role: Late-inning fireman
While Don Kelly’s .000 BABIP likely will not sustain itself, his 3.03 FIP could be indicative of good things to come. Kelly’s obviously not going to throw as hard as Dotel and Benoit or Valverde – his fastball only averaged 84.5 MPH – but he offsets it by keeping hitters off balance by mixing in a 71 MPH curveball. The lack of a third pitch will keep him relegated to bullpen duty, but the track record is there for him to be successful in that role. The xFIP is a little uglier because the 100% fly ball rate didn’t yield any homers, but the curveball should induce a few more grounders in the future, negating that issue. It’s difficult to make any conclusions because of the small sample size, but I expect good things from Kelly going forward.
An added bonus for Kelly – he’s a very capable defender for a pitcher and fields his position well. Expect him to be a key contributor in the Tigers bullpen going forward, and a nice compliment to the flamethrowers the Tigers house in the back of their bullpen.
Next: Clete Thomas