St. Louis Cardinals SP Joe Kelly has a strained calf

Posted by Scott Wuerz on September 18, 2013 

Cardinals starting pitcher Joe Kelly has a strained calf, according to

Kelly was pulled from his team's game against the Colorado Rockies Tuesday after five innings despite the fact that he was pitching a shutout at the time. After an awkward step on a play to get the second out in the fifth frame, Kelly was pulled in what was called a precautionary move. 

That's odd, in my book. I'm all for thinking about the health of the player first. But, if the Redbirds were so worried about Kelly's health, why didn't they pull him immediately? Was one out and one more potential win on the back of his bubblegum card worth risking the health of one of the most effective starting pitchers in baseball over the last three months?

Maybe manager Mike Matheny was trying to do Kelly a favor after stashing him at the back of the bullpen for the first two months of the season. But I'd rather see the second-year pitcher ready for the playoffs than try to soothe myself with the knowledge that he got to nine wins -- as he sits on the bench with a shredded calf muscle.

Kelly is 9-2 with a 2.14 ERA as a starting pitcher this season. When he starts games, opponents bat .248 against him and slug .328.

There was no word if he is expected to miss any time because of the injury.

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