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Apr 16, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly (58) pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Cardinals' Joe Kelly leaves start with hamstring injury

It’s been the theme this baseball season so far- another pitcher goes down.

Wednesday afternoon it was Joe Kelly of the St. Louis Cardinals, who had to leave his start against the Milwaukee Brewers after just four innings.

Apr 16, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly (center) walks off the field with manager Mike Matheny (left) and trainer Greg Hauck (right) after Kelly was injured trying to bunt for a hit in the fifth inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly has reportedly been diagnosed with a left hamstring strain and is headed back to St. Louis for further tests.

He sustained the injury while trying to leg out a bunt in the road half of the fifth. He limped off the field and was replaced in the bottom half of the inning by reliever Seth Maness.

Kelly is coming off an outstanding 2013 season in which he recorded a 2.69 ERA in 37 games, 15 of which were starts. This season, as the Cardinals’ fifth starter, Kelly has an ERA of 0.59 through three starts, including Wednesday’s.

He gave up an unearned run in the contest and was tagged with the loss.

If the injury is severe and Kelly misses any time, the Cardinals pitching depth will be tested.  Fortunately for them, they are very deep in terms of arms.

Carlos Martinez could be an option, but Tyler Lyons started for Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday and is probably the more logical short-term fill-in candidate.

Martinez has been making appearances in a major league setup role and likely isn’t stretched out enough to jump in the rotation right away.

If you are in a deep league, or NL-only format, I would keep an eye on the situation and consider adding Lyons if there are any whispers of a promotion in the next couple of days.


Tags: Fantasy Baseball Joe Kelly Milwaukee Brewers St. Louis Cardinals Tyler Lyons

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