Yesterday, we heard unconfirmed reports that Shawn Kelley was on the way to meet with Dr. James Andrews in Alabama, where Andrews conducts his research and medicine from within a walled fortress to protect himself from locals who swear he's a witch. Today, it's been confirmed that not only did Kelley meet with Dr. Andrews - he received treatment from Dr. Andrews.
That treatment? The increasingly popular platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection, which Kelley had in his elbow. I remember when PRP was new and controversial within baseball circles. Now it seems like somebody's getting PRP treatment every week. PRP accelerates the healing of damaged tissue, meaning that Shawn Kelley has damaged tissue. Nothing sufficiently damaged to require surgery, but still sufficiently damaged to require intervention.
The plan now is for Kelley to rest for a month. After a month, he'll be re-evaluated, with the hope being that he'll be cleared to resume a throwing program. If everything goes right, then Kelley will still have to rebuild his arm strength, and he presumably won't return until after the All-Star break. If everything doesn't go right, it'll take longer than that. If everything goes wrong, we're all seconds from death, each and every one of us.
So! Setback for Kelley. Setback for David Aardsma. Nothing good from Josh Lueke. Inconsistency from Brandon League. And a 1.45 combined ERA for Jamey Wright, David Pauley and Aaron Laffey. The Mariners' bullpen situation in 2011 has been both a dreadful nightmare and a curious blessing. Hope for continued curious blessings.