5 former Phillies competing for Cubs roster this spring
By Matt Rappa
2. Trevor Kelley
Right-handed reliever Trevor Kelley contributed to the infamous 2020 Phillies bullpen, although briefly. The Phillies and pitching coach Bryan Price never let him appear in more than four outings and 3 1/3 innings, in which he recorded a 10.80 ERA and 2.700 WHIP ratio after allowing eight hits, four runs (all earned), two home runs, and one walk — albeit striking out five of his 19 batters faced.
The Phillies had claimed Kelley off waivers from the Boston Red Sox in December 2019. As a rookie in the 2019 campaign, he likewise struggled with an 8.64 ERA and 1.680 WHIP ratio spanning 10 appearances. However, it was his strong Triple-A showing — recording a 1.79 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings — that gave the Phillies hope that he could turn things around.
Nearly two months after claiming Kelley, the Phillies designated him for assignment to make room for fellow right-handed reliever Reggie McClain on the 40-man roster. Kelley was then sent outright to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, before his contract was purchased in July prior to the start of the 2020 season.
It did not take long before the Phillies designated Kelley for assignment in August. He was sent outright to the alternate training site and never returned for another outing in red pinstripes.
The Cubs are now giving the 27-year-old a third chance to shine in the majors, as in December they signed him to a minor-league deal. Kelley is not listed among the Cubs’ non-roster invitees, so he likely will compete in the equivalent of Phillies spring training mini-camp.