Dodgers’ Dave Roberts Says Joe Kelly’s 8-Game Suspension ‘Too Aggressive’

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly (17) looks back at Houston Astros' Carlos Correa (1) after the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. Both benches emptied during the exchange. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes the eight-game suspension pitcher Joe Kelly received for his role in Tuesday’s dustup with the Houston Astros was “too aggressive.”

“For a relief pitcher, to me, that’s too aggressive,” Roberts, who was also suspended one game, said, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “There are a lot of guys who are upset about the severity.”

Kelly threw a fastball behind Alex Bregman’s head and two more pitches inside against Carlos Correa during Tuesday’s game. Benches eventually cleared.

The two-game series between the Dodgers and Astros was notably the former’s first trip back to Minute Maid Park since they lost to Houston in the 2017 World Series.

Major League Baseball eventually fined the Astros $5 million and stripped them of their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 because of sign stealing. Then-manager AJ Hinch and then-general manager Jeff Luhnow, who have both since been fired, were suspended for one year for their roles in the scandal.

Although Kelly was not on the 2017 Dodgers, it is clear there is still bad blood between the teams.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on SportsCenter that Los Angeles has “absolute outrage and shock” the pitcher was suspended for eight games (starts at 0:33):

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal noted an eight-game suspension during this altered 60-game season is equivalent to 22 games in a normal 162-game campaign.

Kelly is appealing the suspension.