PITTSBURGH -- Right-handed reliever Ryan Kelly was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett and joined the Braves' bullpen for Sunday afternoon's game. Subsequently, fellow reliever Sugar Ray Marimon, who has a 7.71 ERA in six appearances with Atlanta this year, will be optioned to Gwinnett.
This will be Kelly's first action in the big leagues after nine seasons in the Minors. After nearly a decade of working and waiting for "the call", he was excited to finally get it.
"It's such a surreal feeling," Kelly said. "Words can't describe the feelings that you have. I'm happy to be here, and hopefully I can continue the success I've had so far."
Considering his performance in the Minors this season, Kelly's callup is warranted. He started 2015 at Double-A Mississippi, where he boasted a 0.48 ERA in 17 appearances. After moving to Triple-A, Kelly posted a 2.13 ERA in 10 relief spots.
Kelly said the road hasn't been easy, dealing with injuries early in his professional career. However, he acknowledged that he's been fortunate with quality pitching coaches along the way who have helped him in a myriad of ways, including the addition of a cutter to his arsenal.
The righty, after years of seeing teammates get called up, said he was always looking forward to his turn, but never "read too far into things."
"You can only go out and do what you do, and hope that something good happens," Kelly said.
It took awhile, but in terms of reaching the Majors, Kelly's approach worked.
John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.