R-Phillies Phillers – Tim Kennelly
Are utilityman Tim Kennelly’s days as a position player in the Philadelphia Phillies system over?
After lighting up the radar gun with a 97 mph fastball earlier this month during an impromptu relief appearance, Kennelly caught the Phillies’ attention.
He hasn’t appeared in a Reading game since July 14 and is quietly working his arm into shape for regular pitching appearances, which could come in August.
Reading manager Dusty Wathan said he considers Kennelly “a position player right now,” but that could officially change as the Phillies further discuss the issue. Kennelly has been throwing bullpen and live pitching sessions.
He has pitched in two games for Reading, the last time July 2 when he allowed one hit and struck out one in one inning.
Lachlan Dale, a general manager in the Australian Baseball League, was surprised to learn that the league’s reigning MVP was considering a career switch.
“We always knew Tim had a great arm as he displays this when throwing runners out from the outfield,” Dale told Brad Elborough of the Perth Now website. “But 97 mph on the mound puts him in the top 10 percent of Major League Baseball pitchers.”
Kennelly led the Perth Heat to the ABL championship last season with a .374 average.
Kennelly told Perth Now that Heat fans should get used to seeing him on the mound.
“I did kind of surprise myself at how hard I was throwing,” he said of his last Reading pitching appearance. “At this stage, I will continue the rest of the year hitting and pitching occasionally, and see where I stand at the end of the year and make a decision from there. A decision that probably won’t be an easy one.”