SAN FRANCISCO — The timing couldn’t have been better for Casey Kelly’s promotion to the big leagues. His dad, Pat, is the bench coach for the Cincinnati Reds, and the Giants make their only visit to Cincinnati next weekend.
Before Friday’s game, Casey didn’t want to think much about the possibility. He smiled and said he hopes he’s still around. At the very least, it appears he’s the latest to get a chance to stick as a long reliever.
Kelly was called up Friday and added to the active roster after the Giants optioned Derek Law back to Triple-A. The 28-year-old had a 4.78 ERA in 23 Triple-A starts, with 104 strikeouts. He can start or relieve, and for now it appears he’ll be the long reliever, with Ty Blach still scheduled to start Saturday’s game.
Kelly is a former top prospect and has 19 big league appearances for the Padres and Braves. The right-hander hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2016, but he joined the Giants organization last summer and coaches said he has shown good stuff in his year with them.
"Whenever you get in contention to get called up it's awesome," Kelly said. "I've been there a couple of times, so I know what to expect, but it's still cool."
To clear a 40-man roster spot, the Giants put Johnny Cueto on the 60-day DL. Cueto will be out until at least next September after having Tommy John surgery.
— Barring a setback, Brandon Belt will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday. Belt is expected to play two or three games with the River Cats before returning to the big league lineup.
“He’s ready to go,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’ll get some at-bats and if all goes well he’ll meet us in Los Angeles.”
The Giants face Clayton Kershaw on Monday, so Tuesday seems like a likely date for Belt’s activation. Belt has missed 13 games already with a hyperextended right knee.