Kelly focused on winning fifth rotation spot

Kelly focused on winning fifth rotation spot

Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 3: Joe Kelly #58 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to a Milwaukee Brewers batter at Busch Stadium on August 3, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

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by B.J, Rains, BaseballSTL

KMOV.com

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 4:19 PM

(BaseballStL) -- The competition for the fifth starter’s spot went from three candidates to two just hours before Joe Kelly started against the New York Yankees Thursday when the Cardinals moved Trevor Rosenthal to the bullpen.

“I just found that out today when we had our starters meeting,” Kelly said. “I was like, ‘Where’s Trev?’”

But Kelly said the news that his competition had dwindled for the rotation spot had nothing to do with his shaky performance Thursday. The right-hander allowed three walks, two hits and two runs in just two innings.

He needed 46 pitches to complete two innings and threw just 24 strikes.

“Honestly I felt better out there,” Kelly said. “My stuff felt live. I was a little erratic in the beginning, my timing was a little off, but I take the positives out of it. I threw my changeup over for strikes. My curveball was better even though they weren’t biting at it.

“Everything is jumping out of the hand well and it’s just something for me to move forward with and looking forward to my next outing when I get to mix in all those pitches and get everything over the plate. It’s starting to come along.”

It was Kelly’s second start of the season after throwing two hitless innings in Kissimmee last Friday against the Astros.

And despite the news that he’s essentially got a 50-50 chance to be the fifth starter, Kelly said nothing has changed.

“I think it’s the same from day one,” Kelly said. “ Like I said I was going to come in here and compete my butt off and try to win myself a job anyway I can. I look at it the same exact way as day one, just give myself a goal and that’s win a job and until that goal is completed I’m going to keep fighting.”

Miller will start Friday in Viera against the Nationals.

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