MLB has reduced Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly’s suspension from eight games to five on appeal, the team announced Wednesday (per the Los Angeles Times and MLB.com).
Kelly received eight games for throwing a fastball over the head of Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and for taunting Houston shortstop Carlos Correa in a game July 28. Kelly’s interaction with Correa led to the benches emptying.
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Houston manager Dusty Baker said after the game that there was no place in baseball for a pitcher throwing near a batter’s head. Kelly argued the pitch was unintentional, saying his control was off.
Baseball’s decision to ban Kelly was met with widespread disapproval inside the game. Multiple players saw the move as one more instance of MLB protecting the Astros after they admitted cheating in their 2017 World Series championship season by stealing signs with video technology.
The Astros defeated the Dodgers in that year’s Series, and they also eliminated the Red Sox in the ALDS. Kelly was a member of that Boston team and pitched in the series.
Kelly is on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. He will begin serving his suspension when he returns to LA’s active roster.
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