BOSTON -- How did new Red Sox starter Joe Kelly find out that he had been traded Thursday? He had an expert source inform him.
“Me and [former Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski] were actually having a conversation in the training room and I said, ‘Hey, it looks like the Cardinals are going to get Lackey,' and he’s like, ‘Oh yeah, really? How did you know?’ I was like, ‘I’ve got a source on Twitter,’” according to Kelly.
Pierzynski met Kelly’s claim with skepticism, mocking the notion that everything on Twitter is true, to which Kelly responded, “Just wait.” Except Kelly didn’t know that he was one of the players being sent to Boston for Lackey.
“I kept looking and looking and was like, ‘I wonder who it could be,’” Kelly said. “Then I saw it pop up -- traded Kelly for Lackey. I went over to A.J. and was like, ‘I told you Twitter is true.’”
After a call from his agent and a meeting with St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, Kelly was soon on his way to Boston, where he’ll make his Red Sox debut Wednesday night against the same Cardinals team that traded him. Kelly said that although facing his former teammates so soon will be different, he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s going to be fun,” Kelly said. “It’s definitely going to be a little weird, but it’s just another ballgame. Got to go out there, be 100 percent locked in, and just make pitches to try and get those guys out.”
A self-proclaimed sinkerballer, Kelly comes to Boston looking to bring stability to a young rotation even though he’s still young himself. At 26 years old, Kelly has already spent parts of three seasons in the majors, including taking the mound against Boston in Game 3 of last year’s World Series and allowing only two runs in 5 1/3 innings. In 68 career regular-season games (38 starts), Kelly is 17-14 with a 3.25 ERA.
Although he was traded from the contending Cardinals to the rebuilding Red Sox, Kelly said he was excited to transition from “one great baseball town to another.”
“These guys traded for me and I’m looking forward to this opportunity to come help this team win,” Kelly said.
With Kelly’s first Sox start coming in a place he’s pitched many times before -- Busch Stadium -- he’ll look to carry over the success he had in St. Louis to the other side of the field.
“Just got to keep pitching how I was and keep competing out there,” Kelly said. “I like to win as much as possible.”