Baseball season is starting up, not only in the major leagues, but also in our own backyard.
The PawSox had their media day, and I had the opportunity to talk to a 25 year-old relief pitcher who has been making his way up the farm system for a few years now.
Trevor Kelley, a right hander who originally hails from the great state of Rhode Island, and is on the brink of making the move up to the Red Sox bullpen.
The 6’2” setup man had an impressive 1.54 ERA in thirteen appearances with Pawtucket last year, and hopes for more of the same this season. It’s so rare that an athlete from Rhode Island gets to play for a local professional team, so I thought there would be no one better to go one on one with than Trevor Kelley.
Christian Martinelli: Where are you originally from in Rhode Island. How long did you live here?
Trevor Kelley: Barrington, Rhode Island. I moved from here to North Carolina when I was in the third grade. I have family here, and visit often, and felt like I really had a connection here when I came back.
CM: As a kid did you used to come to games at McCoy?
TK: Oh yeah! Came to God knows how many… me and my brothers, my dad would bring us all and we’d just go to as many games as we could. This is where I fell in love with the game.
CM: Does it make you sad that the PawSox are leaving Pawtucket for Worcester?
TK: Yeah a little bit... definitely. I was like, ‘well I finally got up here, I can stay with family, it’s a quick drive over here, and I have a lot of support here.’ To go to Worcester...all I’ve ever known was the Paw Sox and McCoy, so it will definitely take adjusting to know they’re not here, but I think Worcester is going to be pretty exciting.
CM: Was there an exact moment when you thought baseball is what you wanted to do for a career?
TK: I definitely enjoyed playing football, when I moved to North Carolina it was just different. It was an eye opening experience, playing in Barrington it was small, and then when you go to North Carolina you’re playing year round. There’s so many kids over there...I was just like ‘wow this is crazy’. It wasn’t until high school when I thought ‘well this is what I want to do.’ I wanted to go to the University of North Carolina. I did that. I wanted to get drafted by the Red Sox. Just so happens I did. To be playing here is pretty cool.
CM: What advantages do you find from throwing sidearm?
TK: There’s definitely advantages, because for the most part I’m the only guy in the bullpen that does it. I compliment a lot of guys in the bullpen. I can set up, and they set me up very nicely. So it’s a little bit of a different look, I’m almost like a power guy from down there I like to think. I run it up to upper 80s, low 90s at times, and that can be effective when it sneaks up on guys how quick to the plate I am. I like to think it works. That’s one thing I have going for me, I’m pretty consistent.
CM: When did you make that change from over the top to sidearm?
TK: My freshman year of college, I didn’t play at all (laughing). So I was just like I have to change something or I’m gone, so that’s what I did. I ended up the next three years leading the whole team in appearances, and even the country one year. It allowed me to pitch everyday, and come back pretty quick.
CM: Do you have any goals you set for yourself this season?
TK: Just to keep the ERA under 3.00, and hopefully I can make my big league appearance with the Red Sox. That’s the goal.
Kelley hopes to make his debut with the team he grew up cheering for as a boy, and work his way up there while playing in the stadium where he fell in love with the game he’s made a career out of.
The PawSox are coming off a rough year (66-73), but hope to put that in the rear view mirror and improve this season. Kelley should be an integral part of shutting down opposing offenses in the seventh and eighth innings this season.
The PawSox start their 2019 campaign on 4/4 against Tim Tebow, and the Syracuse Mets in Syracuse
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