KANSAS CITY -- The results haven't been dazzling for Joe Kelly just three starts into his Major League career. But he has impressed with the way he's assimilated into the clubhouse and with adjustments he's already begun to make on the mound.
The Cardinals don't appear to have any immediate plans to remove Kelly from the rotation, as his performance thus far has been good enough for a team without starters Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia. The Cards will likely need Kelly for three more starts before the All-Star break.
After that, Kelly's job security is likely to be determined by Carpenter's readiness. In the meantime, Kelly is taking this opportunity to soak in the wisdom of a veteran pitching staff.
"It's a great environment," manager Mike Matheny said. "You see him gravitating toward the younger players, and you see the veterans gravitating toward him. Guys are challenging him with some different ideas. I've seen a pitcher that has improved significantly in a years' time. He's still a young player, but he's taking good strides."
Kelly earned his first big league victory on Friday, despite pitching without sharp fastball command. He logged a career-high six innings in the outing.
"It's awesome," Kelly said of the win. "I just want it to be one of many."