Weekly Grades: Who Passed, Who Failed for Red Sox?

5 of 5

SP Joe Kelly

Aug 17, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Joe Kelly (56) reacts after Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hits a grand-slam during the second inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Kelly, the 26-year old right-hander that was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in return for John Lackey, was one of the most highly-touted pieces that the Red Sox received back from their July 31 fire sale.

His first two starts in a Boston uniform gave Red Sox fans many reasons to be optimistic about Kelly’s future in the Red Sox rotation. These optimistic thoughts were greatly hindered by his performance against the Houston Astros on Sunday.

Kelly’s first start of the week was solid, giving up two earned runs and five hits against the Cincinnati Reds in a victory, but everything came crashing down on Sunday against the lowly Astros.

Kelly lasted only four innings, giving up seven hits, seven earned runs, and six walks in an 8-1 Red Sox loss.

The Astros got to Kelly early, scoring six runs in the second inning en-route to their 52nd win of the 2014 season.

With many prospects expected to make their way to the 2015 Red Sox rotation, as well as the widely expected free agent activity by the Boston front office in regards to pitching this offseason, Kelly better perform better than he did on Sunday, or he might be on the outside looking in.

Grade: D+