BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox will be without one of their hottest relievers for the next six games.
Major League Baseball informed Joe Kelly that his six-game suspension has been upheld on Thursday, and the Boston setup man will have to start serving his punishment immediately. Kelly will not be eligible to return to the Red Sox bullpen until Wednesday, May 2.
He does not seem too pleased with MLB’s decision, and fired off a pretty funny response on Twitter:
Kelly was hit with the six-game ban after he threw at the Yankees’ Tyler Austin back on April 11 at Fenway Park, a few innings after the New York first baseman slide into Brock Holt at second base with his cleats up. Austin charged the mound after Kelly hit him with a 97 MPH fastball and both benches cleared. Kelly’s “Let’s Go!” gesture as Austin took a few steps to the mound probably didn’t help his cause in the appeal.
Austin was hit with a five-game suspension which, according to the New York Post, was somehow reduced to four games on Thursday.
While plunking Austin earned Kelly a suspension, it earned him a lot of love from Boston fans. He received a standing ovation from Red Sox fans his next time out and another ovation at the TD Garden when he was shown on the Jumbotron at the Bruins playoff game.
But it also leaves Boston without one of their most effective relievers for the next six games. Kelly has thrown 11.1 scoreless innings following his Opening Day meltdown, surrendering just five hits while striking out 10. The Red Sox will now have to rely on Matt Barnes, Carson Smith and Heath Hembree to set up closer Craig Kimbrel.