Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly suffered a fractured right wrist after being hit by a pitch from the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler in tonight’s game. Kelly was hit in the bottom of the second inning, and stuck it out for an inning before being replaced behind the plate by Stephen Vogt to begin the fourth.
Depending on the severity of the fracture, Kelly’s season could potentially be in jeopardy, and at the very least he is looking at a lengthy absence. Kelly already missed time back in May with a toe fracture, though that resulted in only a 10-day minimum stint on the injured list.
It makes for yet another down note for Kelly and the Diamondbacks during what has become a nightmarish season in Arizona. Kelly’s performance was one of the few bright spots, as he has a .260/.385/.460 slash line and eight home runs through 187 plate appearances. It was a nice bounce-back showing after a lackluster 2020 season for Kelly, who was acquired from the Cardinals as part of the Paul Goldschmidt trade in December 2018.
Between his solid 2019 numbers and this year’s breakout, Kelly certainly looked to be living up to his billing as the Diamondbacks’ catcher of both the future and the present. Arizona’s miserable season notwithstanding, it didn’t seem like Kelly (if healthy) was a realistic trade candidate, as GM Mike Hazen recently suggested that the D’Backs would look to settle upon an “anchor” group of core players as they reload and hope for better things in 2022. Kelly would seem to fit that billing, as he is controlled through the 2024 season.
While Kelly is out of action, the D’Backs would get a chance to give top prospect Daulton Varsho more of a look behind the plate. Varsho has only 56 games and 159 PA at the big league level over the last two seasons, with more of that playing time coming as an outfielder rather than as a catcher. Varsho and Vogt could potentially split catching duties while Kelly is sidelined, with Varsho also playing the outfield on days when Vogt is starting.