Kelley to start Thursday, but he’s not a starter

The pitching lineup for Thursday’s split-squad games raised a few eyebrows when Shawn Kelley was listed as the starter for the game against the Royals.

Is Kelley now a candidate for the fifth-starter job, which seems to be a wide-open race now that Cliff Lee almost surely won’t start the season because of his strained ab muscle? The Mariners, after all, have stretched Kelley’s pitch count the past couple of weeks, having him work more than one inning in four of his past five outings.

Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair says no, that Thursday’s game isn’t part of a grand plan to convert Kelley into a starter.

“It’s basically a bullpen game,” Adair said. “The Angels did that here yesterday.”

After Kelley, the Mariners will throw right-handers Kanekoa Texeira, Mark Lowe and Chad Cordero.

“We’re using it to our advantage to get those guys stretched out,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said.

This will be Kelley’s first start of any kind since the 2007 NCAA regionals, when his Austin Peay team faced Vanderbilt. Kelley locked up with some guy named David Price in a classic pitching duel.

Vandy beat the Governors 2-1 in 11 innings, and Kelley pitched 10 of those for Austin Peay.

“I threw 137 pitches” he said. He admitted to being a little gassed at the end, “but I didn’t walk anyone.”

Kelley gave up five hits and struck out nine. Price went nine innings, also allowing five hits and two walks but recording 17 strikeouts.

Nearly three years later, Kelley will warm up as a starter again, facing the Royals today. He figures to go three innings or until he reaches his pitch count. How many might that be?

“Not 137,” he said.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Evergreen Speedway remains closed due the stay-at-home order while NASCAR will run it's first race since the pandemic began on Sunday. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: Evans tops podium at Mark Galloway Shootout

Also, EvCC athletes named All-American, Tulalip native signs with MLB organization and more.

Dallas Wings' Kayla Thornton, front left, and Marina Mabrey, right, defend as Phoenix Mercury center Tina Charles (31) shoots in the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Storm sign former MVP Tina Charles

The 33-year-old center joins a roster that now has 4 former No. 1 overall picks.

Seattle Mariners' Jessie Winker hits a two-run double off Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Felix Bautista during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Winker hit go-ahead double in 8th, Mariners one-hit Orioles

Robbie Ray, Diego Castillo and Paul Sewald combine on the shutout in a 2-0 victory.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox surrender 4 homer runs in loss to Emeralds

All six of the game’s runs came on home runs.

Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas (31), wide receiver Cade Johnson (88), and wide receiver Aaron Fuller (13) walk off the field after NFL football practice Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seahawks announce training camp registration date for fans

Fans must register through the team’s website starting Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Isaiah Campbell
AquaSox start season’s second half on high note

Everett misses out on its first chance to clinch a playoff spot, but the surging Sox are 11-5 over their past 16 games.

Edmonds-Woodway's Eddy Olson, left, and Shorecrest's Mason Dougherty jump for a header Tuesday evening at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington on May 3, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2022 All-Area high school boys soccer teams

A look at the top prep boys soccer players in the area this spring.

Caden Kaasa, the 2022 Boys Soccer Player of the Year, stands on his home turf Friday, June 24, 2022, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s Boys Soccer Player of the Year: Caden Kaasa

The Monroe senior scored a school-record 29 goals and led the Bearcats to a third-place finish at state.

Kansas City Royals' Carlos Santana hits a two-run single during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Mariners acquire Santana, cash from Royals for 2 young pitchers

The switch-hitting slugger is batting just .216 but has been heating up in June.

Most Read