photo by Samara Pearlstein
Outfielder? Check. Infielder? Check. Relief pitcher? Check. Catcher? After tonight, Don Kelly can finally add that final check.
A shoulder bruise knocked out Victor Martinez. Sunday was set to be a day game, and a rain delay had already made the Saturday night game extra late, so Leyland did not want to use Alex Avila. There was only one option left, and that option was the infinitely versatile Don Kelly. This season alone he has played every outfield position, first base, third base, DH, and pitcher– and now catcher. In previous seasons he has seen (brief) time at second base and shortstop as well.
Here are my questions:
–Whose gear was he using? Is that his very own catcher’s glove? Is the hockey mask his? Victor and Avila both use the old school masks. I know Inge used the hockey mask when he was catching… is it his?
–Obviously he has pitched, but only in relief, never as a starter. Would that count as a separate position? Can he safely claim, in his own heart, that he has played every baseball position right now, or should he try to beg for a start first?
–Relatedly, could Don Kelly really be that much worse than some of the starting pitching the Tigers have been throwing out there lately? He probably couldn’t go very deep into a game, but that’s nothing new (Verlander starts excepted).
–How scary/ridiculous was it when he tried to call for time by meekly holding up one hand like a shy first-grader who really has to pee but is kind of scared of his teacher, and they’re supposed to raise their hands and ask to go to the bathroom, and he really needs to go, but he doesn’t extend his hand all the way because the teacher just makes him nervous? The homeplate ump racing out of the way because of his total lack of confidence in Perry’s ability to throw a baseball straight and Kelly’s ability to actually catch such a beast was pretty good too.
–Are we in the presence of utilityman greatness? This one has an answer: quite possibly yes.