It’s a Monday and we’re writing a letter, which is not uncommon here at Aaron Miles’ Fastball. This one, however, is not a love letter.
Not after last night’s St. Louis Cardinals loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Because we have some questions.
Like, what is the deal with your choice of relievers? Specifically, where is Joe Kelly?
Also, can you just give Mitchell Boggs a nice, long break?
And can you get past this bunting fascination — please? Or do you really think it’s successful?
Another: where is Joe Kelly?
And, oh yeah, WHERE IS JOE KELLY?
Obviously Joe Kelly is the hot topic — which makes sense when you have a guy who two months ago was in the mix for the fifth starter role. He’s a valuable piece of the bullpen now that Shelby Miller is in the rotation where he should be. But, and maybe this just makes sense to us, Joe kind of needs to pitch to demonstrate that value.
Sure, it’s great that Derek Lilliquist told you Joe is “a Ferrari sitting in the garage.” And, though I’m no car expert, it doesn’t seem like a Ferrari provides much benefit when it’s not being used. Yeah, maybe it’s impressive to the neighbors when they can see it, sitting there all nice and shiny — but isn’t a Ferrari more impressive when it’s out on the highway getting some action?
Derrick Goold had this quote from you on Joe:
“He’s a nice weapon to have sitting in the garage,” Matheny said Sunday night. “It’s really a double-edged sword more than anything else. If we’re using him a lot that means our starters aren’t going very deep into games. Ideally you want (outings) for your whole bullpen. These guys are still developing roles.”
Hmmm, interesting. Outings for your whole bullpen is a terrific notion — especially when, as you said, these guys are still developing roles.
But why in the world would you keep a weapon sitting in the garage?
And for a week? How is keeping him in the garage — uh, on the bench — since last Monday a solution? Yes, it was a week ago that Joe last pitched, just in case you’ve forgotten. Because it certainly seems like you have.
Look, we understand you wanting to get Fernando Salas back on track, and Mitchell Boggs too — although, as asked politely above, can you please give him a break for a bit now? And Trevor Rosenthal absolutely deserves the chances he’s had. We get that he’s still learning and working his way through a full-time role in the big leagues. Randy Choate has his spot to pitch, which he’s done effectively. And Marc Rzepczynski too, plus Edward Mujica makes sense for now as the closer.
So what about Joe Kelly?
That really is the biggest question of them all.
We’re frustrated over the rest of last night’s game but we’ll get over it — although maybe you can take a lesson from your predecessor on bullpen management. Perplexing as it could be at times and as annoying as all those pitching changes were, Tony La Russa’s strategy worked much more often than not. And, actually, maybe you can study up on his use of bunting too because we really would like an explanation there. But even that isn’t as confounding as the lack of using Joe.
To make sure everything is clear: WHY AREN’T YOU USING JOE KELLY?
If the Ferrari stays in the garage, we might be forced to support this solution from Twitter.
So, one more time and in conclusion, WHERE IS JOE KELLY? The team needs him.
Here’s hoping we see him tonight against the Nationals.
Best regards (provided you stop making us mad),
Chris, Miranda and Tara