Joe Kelly: Know Your St. Louis Cardinals Call-Up

It's time once more for America's least favorite gameshow, Know Your St. Louis Cardinals Call-Up. This week's contestant is replacing Jaime Garcia, who'll miss more than a month with a shoulder impingement, in the Cardinals' snakebitten rotation. Ladies and gentlement, please welcome Joe Kelly!

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Joe Kelly was a third-round pick in 2009 who spent his college years as a closer at UC-Riverside. The Cardinals converted him into a starter, and since then he's made his way consistently up the farm system while sticking in the rotation. 2012 was the 24-year-old's first trip to AAA Memphis; he carried an ERA of 2.86 through 12 starts there before getting the call for Sunday's start.

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Kelly is a sinkerballer whose groundball rate is going to determine whether he's able to stick as a Major League starter, but he'll also need to ensure a certain competence with his strikeouts and walks; in Memphis he's struck out just 45 batters in 72 innings, and in earlier stops his control was middling at best.

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Kelly's spot in the rotation is likely to evaporate whenever Chris Carpenter can return, but nobody knows yet when that'll be. In the meantime a month of solid starts will save him a spot in the 2013 rotation, when Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook are both likely to leave via free agency.

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More Know Your St. Louis Cardinals Call-Up call-ups:

Maikel Cleto, hard-throwing reliever; Sam Freeman, left-handed human; Matt Adams, enormous slugging first baseman.

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