Kelly (back) recovers after 5-hour crawfish boil

March 9th, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Dodgers pitcher threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Friday, declaring himself healthy after sustaining the strangest injury of this Spring Training.

Kelly missed three days of workouts with a back that stiffened after he spent five hours on his feet preparing a crawfish boil for a team dinner.

You can’t make this stuff up.

“It wasn’t pitching. It was cooking,” said manager Dave Roberts.

“Standing a little too long. That’s one of the more unique ones. The message is, I have to keep him away from the stove. We’ll keep him away from the jambalaya.”

Kelly said he came out of Friday’s session fine and expected no further problems. He should return to game action in two or three days.

“Nothing too serious,” said Kelly. “It’s not a big deal.”

The Dodgers signed the free agent in December to a three-year, $25 million deal to be the setup man to closer Kenley Jansen after Kelly blew the Dodgers away in the World Series for Boston.

Ryu on track

Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched three scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no walks in the Dodgers’ 7-5 loss to the Royals on Friday night at Camelback Ranch. With Clayton Kershaw’s status uncertain, Ryu is among the candidates to start Opening Day.

“No, I never really thought about it, because at this point my focus is to build pitch counts and innings,” said Ryu. “I’m pretty sure down the road we’ll have a conversation about where I’ll slot into the rotation, but at this point that’s something I’m not really thinking about.”

Ryu used all of his pitches, including two of his experimental sliders. But Ryu still is not comfortable throwing it and catcher Austin Barnes isn’t comfortable calling it, so Ryu indicated it’s unlikely he’ll use it again in a game any time soon.

Offensively, the Dodgers got home runs from outfielders A.J. Pollock, a two-run shot and his first of the spring, and Joc Pederson, whose only two hits of the spring have been homers.

“It was good to see A.J. get rewarded with the homer,” said Roberts. “With Joc, we don’t evaluate in Spring Training with results. But I think his at-bat quality has been considerably better staying in the strike zone. He and A.J. are right where they need to be right now.”

Injury updates

• Catcher Russell Martin has resumed swinging the bat and might be in a game by Sunday after missing more than a week with a sore lower back.

• Clayton Kershaw played a firm catch again, but Roberts said it hasn’t been decided when Kershaw will throw a bullpen session. He’s been sidelined by shoulder inflammation and is unlikely to be ready by Opening Day.

• Corey Seager returned after missing several days with flu-like symptoms, but he will be delayed returning to Minor League action until Saturday to regain strength. He’s rehabbing from elbow and hip surgeries in Minor League games and it’s uncertain if he’ll be ready for Opening Day.

Worth noting

• Roberts said he’s hopeful left-handed reliever Donnie Hart will join the club by Saturday. He was claimed from Baltimore, with the Dodgers designating for assignment right-hander Josh Fields. The Dodgers made the move because they are light on lefties (Scott Alexander, Tony Cingrani and Caleb Ferguson), while Fields has been limited to one inning and their other right-handers can pitch multiple innings. Hart had been designated for assignment by the Orioles.

• Guest instructors Maury Wills and Steve Yeager arrived on Friday, joining Eric Karros.

Up next

Kenta Maeda starts on Saturday at 12:05 p.m. PT against Roenis Elias and the Seattle Mariners at Camelback Ranch.