Zack Kelly makes Red Sox’ Opening Day roster

The Red Sox have informed reliever Zack Kelly that he has made the club’s Opening Day roster, manager Alex Cora announced earlier Sunday morning.

Kelly, 28, made his major-league debut for Boston last August after posting a 2.72 ERA in 44 appearances (49 2/3 innings) for Triple-A Worcester to begin the 2022 season. With the Red Sox, the right-hander pitched to a 3.95 ERA and 4.28 FIP with 11 strikeouts to four walks over 13 outings spanning 13 2/3 innings of relief.

So far this spring, Kelly has allowed three earned runs on 10 hits, four walks, and seven strikeouts across eight appearances (10 innings). He struck out a pair over two scoreless frames in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.

“You saw yesterday, [he] throws strikes on three different pitches,” Cora told reporters (including’s Christopher Smith). “And we feel very confident with that.”

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Kelly’s three-pitch arsenal consists of a mid-80s slider, a mid-90s four-seam fastball, and a low-80s changeup, per Baseball Savant. He held opponents to a .174 batting average against with his four-seamer last year.

As for how the Red Sox plan on using him this coming season, Cora indicated that Kelly will be paired with fellow righty Josh Winckowski in a multi-inning role out of the bullpen.

“We’ll use him probably [for] multiple innings,” said Cora. “He’ll be kind of one of those guys with Wink that can go two innings. We feel very confident with him.”

This marks the first time in which Kelly has made an Opening Day roster as a big-leaguer. The Virginia native has come a long way since going undrafted out of Division II Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.) and signing with the Athletics for a mere $500 in January 2017.

With Kelly now in the fold, the Red Sox have just one more vacancy in their bullpen to fill before Opening Day against the Orioles on Thursday. It will likely either go to Kaleb Ort, who is already on the 40-man roster but has struggled this spring, Oddanier Mosqueda, or Ryan Sherriff.

(Picture of Zack Kelly: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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