The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Saturday afternoon that they have shut down relief pitcher Keone Kela for the rest of the season. Kela hasn’t been pitching this month, so the announcement isn’t a big surprise. There’s no word of injury with him not pitching, rather they felt that he had enough work in already and at this point of the season there was no reason to push him any further.
The Pirates are shutting down Keone Kela for the rest of the season "To ensure an optimal amount of rest and recovery to be ready in spring training 2019," GM Neal Huntington says in a statement.
— Bill Brink (@Bill_Brink2) September 15, 2018
Kela has made a total of 54 appearances this season, throwing 52 innings. Those are both his highest totals since his rookie season in 2015. With the Pirates, he has a 2.93 ERA in 16 outings, with 22 strikeouts and an 0.98 WHIP in 15.1 innings.
The Pirates have an 11-man bullpen right now without Kela, and they aren’t in a playoff race with two weeks left in the season, so this has little effect on the rest of the year. Since there’s no reported injury, then all this really does is make a few more innings available for younger pitchers over the rest of the season. Kela has two more seasons before he reaches free agency.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.