Sox should send Joe Kelly to the bullpen

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It's time to ship Joe Kelly to the bullpen. The reasoning is two-fold here: Kelly isn't performing like a major league starter and the Sox need some help -- now and in the future -- in the bullpen.

Kelly was shelled for five runs in just 3 1/3 innings and has an ERA just under 6.00. Currently, he's not giving the Red Sox a chance to win when he takes the mound.

Moreover, there are other options: Brian Johnson, who showed some rust after a 15-day layoff in his major league debut, factors into the Red Sox' 2016 plans, or at least could. To pitch Kelly at Johnson's expense is counterproductive and difficult to justify.

The Red Sox could deal Kelly off this week, but they'd be doing so at a time when his value is an all-time low.

Better they should move him to a relieving role, where he could help lighten the load on set-up man Junichi Tazawa, who currently represents the only reliable option for John Farrell in high-leverage situations.

One way or another, the Red Sox are going to have to find bullpen help this off-season, needing at least two -- if not three -- arms to form a better relief corps for 2016.

If Kelly can show an affinity for getting big outs late in games, that would take one less thing off the off-season shopping list, while serving the dual purpose of providing opportunity for Johnson to get acclimated to a big league rotation spot.

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