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Dodgers minors: Joe Kelly starts rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga

Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly started a minor league rehab assignment on Friday close to home with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga. He pitched a scoreless fifth inning on nine pitches. Kelly allowed a single, though that runner was eventually caught trying to steal second.

Kelly had been throwing bullpen sessions and sometimes faced hitters, but Friday was his first competitive game action since August 9. He’s been sidelined on the injured list with right elbow/forearm inflammation.

The plan for Kelly, per manager Dave Roberts via Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register, is to pitch twice for the Quakes and then likely get activated by the Dodgers on Wednesday. That second appearance in Rancho Cucamonga will come Sunday, said Kelly after the game.

Player of the day

Kendall George, the Dodgers first draft pick this year at No. 36 overall, did not bat on Friday, though he’s held his own at the plate as an 18-year-old in Low-A, hitting .359/.457/.410 with a strikeout rate under 20 percent (19.1) and a double-digit walk rate (12.8 percent) in his 47 plate appearances.

But on Friday, he showed off his speed. George pinch-ran for Thayron Liranzo in the ninth inning, and found himself on third base with catcher Jesus Galiz on first. The two executed a double steal, with George technically stealing home with the walk-off winner.

That’s fun, as was the celebratory picture immediately afterward (George is on the left).

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City managed only one run in a loss to the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Astros).

It came in the fourth inning, when Miguel Vargas doubled then one out later came home on a Jonny DeLuca single.

Starter Nick Frasso allowed four runs on seven hits, and three stolen bases in his 2⅔ innings. He struck out a pair.

Double-A Tulsa

Starter Robbie Peto gave up eight runs and two home runs while recording 10 outs in Tulsa’s blowout loss to the Springfield Cardinals.

The Drillers didn’t score until Hamlet Marte hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning. It was the second home run of the season for the 29-year-old catcher who spent the first few months of the season serving as one of the Dodgers’ two bullpen catchers in the majors.

High-A Great Lakes

The Loons offense had a rough go of it in a loss to the West Michigan (Tigers). Great Lakes managed only three singles in the first eight innings, and didn’t score one out in the ninth, when Griffin Lockwood-Powell and Damon Keith hit back-to-back doubles.

Maddux Bruns had a solid start for High-A Great Lakes with four strikeouts and no walks in three innings. He allowed only one hit, which didn’t factor into the only run scored against him. A throwing error, passed ball, and two groundouts brought home an unearned run in the second inning.

Loons relievers allowed a single run in the sixth and two more in the eighth, which put the game out of reach.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes scored two in the ninth to stun the the Visalia Rawhide (D-backs). George stole home for the game-winner, but the frame began with singles by Josue De Paula and Liranzo. The tying run scored when Galiz reached with two outs on a fielding error by the shortstop.

.De Paula and Galiz each had two hits, with a double included in Galiz’s total.


Triple-A: Walker Buehler is no longer on a rehab assignment with Oklahoma City, as he shut things down for 2023, turning focus to returning in 2024. Michael Busch was optioned.

Low-A: Pitcher Joe Kelly started a rehab assignment near home in Rancho Cucamonga.

Friday scores

Saturday schedule

  • 4:05 p.m. PT: Oklahoma City (Gavin Stone) at Sugar Land (Brandon Bielak)
  • 4:05 p.m.: Great Lakes (Hyun-il Choi) at West Michigan (Garrett Burhenn)
  • 4:35 p.m.: Tulsa (Ben Casparius) at Springfield (Connor Lunn)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Roque Gutierrez) vs. Visalia (Landon Sims)