Ich bin ein rotation candidate

Near no-no in Scranton
The backstop conundrum

So that Ian Kennedy start. Pretty impressive, eh?

In case you’re joining us already in progress, Kennedy, the exiled and highly-regarded pitching prospect, came within one out of a seven-inning no-hit, no-walk performance for AAA Scranton this evening. He ended the game throwing seven, allowing no earned runs, one hit — a run-scoring double after a Chris Basak error — no walks and seven strike outs. He threw 61 of 92 pitches for strikes and was about as good as it gets.

With this start, Kennedy thrust himself back into the Bronx picture. No longer can we ignore him every five days, pretending that he isn’t there. In fact, Kennedy’s rehab and subsequent progress at AAA had to, inevitably, lead to this point. While he started out July on a mediocre foot, since landing in Scranton, Kennedy finds himself sporting a 2.73 ERA. He has struck out 19 over 26.1 innings and has a WHIP of 0.99. Remember that number.

Over the next few days and weeks, Kennedy’s name will begin to resurface more frequently in New York. If he pitches well, he will become a replacement option for either Sidney Ponson and his 1.72 WHIP in the Bronx or Darrell Rasner, coming off a nice start but still sporting a 6.42 ERA over 47.2 innings since June 1. Kennedy’s name will also appear in other forms. With this outing tonight, he has re-established himself as one of the biggest trade chips in the Yankee organization. He doesn’t appear to be untouchable as Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson, Mark Melancon and Jesus Montero are, and teams will be drawn to his talent and ability as well as his pedigree.

So what are the Yanks do to? At some point, they’ll have to replace Rasner, Ponson or both. The two just don’t have the numbers or stuff to be what the Yankees need with Chien-Ming Wang out, and Kennedy is now a prime candidate to replace either sooner rather than later. But if the right trade offer comes along, Kennedy could be gone.

Despite his early-season Major League struggles, I’d still like to see the Yankees hold on to Kennedy. Thrity-seven innings do not a career make. But will the brass see it the same way? Only time will tell. One thing, though, is for certain: Ian Patrick Kennedy is back on the radar.

Near no-no in Scranton
The backstop conundrum
  • christopher

    I see IPK as perfect trade bait. I am not denying hs talent and still think he wll be a jon leber type 3-4 starter in the majors, but assumng the yankees sign sabathia this offseason, they will have a relatively young rotation with Wang Sabathia, Joba and Hughes leading the way for the next 5-6 years. Wthin that time, you have to think that this organization, stocked wth young pitchng talent, will produce more arms.

    if it means a big tme hitter now that they can have for a few years

    • mustang

      “I see IPK as perfect trade bait. ”

  • Ben B.

    I’m not sure christopher would feel the same way about trading IPK for Fuentes, as the Rockies have proposed, or including IPK in a trade package for Bay or Nady, who are decent OFs, but not AL All-Stars, as the Pirates have proposed.

    I haven’t seen a trade yet involving IPK that made sense. That doesn’t mean that one won’t happen, it just means that we shouldn’t talk about trading IPK for the sake of trading IPK, in a vacuum, without a real trade in front of us.

    And, I don’t see one.

    • christopher

      IPK for fuentes – NO way

      may onsder hm for bay straght up

    • christopher

      fot fuentes– no way

      straight up for bay and i consider it

      • TurnTwo

        straight up for Bay? you really think the Pirates would do that?

        and you realize Jason Bay is a All Star OF, right?

  • Chofo

    If the team gets Washburn, then IPK becomes expendable. He ould be part of a deal for an OF right handed bat like Hollyday, Bay or Nady. A package of him, Cox and Betances is a good one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

      A 34-year-old pitcher with an ERA+ of 84, a opponent’s OPS of .818, and a career-high H/9 of 10.72 this year does not make 23-year-old Ian Kennedy “expendable”.

      • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

        I made a pretty good argument for Wash, Jamal, it’s on my link. But yeah I agree with the point you make. IPK’s status should be in Ponson/Rasner’s hands, not Washburn’s.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

          LoL, I did as well a few threads back. That’s why I chuckled a bit as I was writing that previous comment. I have no issue acquiring Jarrod Washburn, if the deal is centered around Kei Igawa, but the notion that Washburn’s fate somehow has any bearings on that of Ian Kennedy’s is just not right.

          • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

            I can’t believe that one of those beat writers, don’t remember which, reported that GARDNER AND MELKY are in discussion as well. Come on! Even Gardner – why? I see why Seattle would try to milk us, but come on, throw Vidro at us if you must and be on your merry way with The Ghost.

          • TurnTwo

            the reason why i see Washburn’s acquisition impacting Kennedy is because of the simple math for next year’s rotation.

            assuming Wang, Pettitte, Joba, and then Washburn, you have but one spot left to start next season… i have a really big hunch that SAbathia is going to be that pitcher.

            so now, you have Hughes and IPK left outside looking in, and thats not even including the possibility that they maybe resign Moose.

            i would gather they have more invested in Hughes than IPK, and a handful of young arms that will be another year closer to contributing.

            If IPK can be packaged to get a significant player to help down the stretch this season, and be here for next season and/or beyond, i think the Yankees will do it.

            in fact, just IMO, i think the Yankees will float both IPK and Hughes out there and see what type of player they can get for each, and whoever brings back more value i think will be the one to go.

            at this point, with IPK’s performance and Hughes’ injuries, i wonder if they quetly believe IPK projects to help the big league club more over the next couple years than Hughes will.

            • Count Zero

              Why does everyone assume Pettitte will come back? He’s not under contract and he pretty much had to have his arm twisted to come back for ’08.

              I’m not saying he won’t come back — I’m just saying it’s probably like 50/50. Far from being a done deal…

              • Chip

                He has a player option for next year

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

              Mathwise, having 5 good starting pitchers is a bad idea.

              Having 7 good starting pitchers is a good idea.

              Thinking that we need to move IPK because he’s somehow “blocked” by a walking definition of a stopgap named Jarrod Washburn is not good foresight.

            • CT Yankee

              Hughes will be on a IP limit next year and is unlikely to start the season in New York. To make room when he is ready Washburn could be either traded or shifted to the bullpen. A hunch regarding Sabathia, even a really big one, is just a wish at this point in time. Pettitte will likely be interested in pitching in the new stadium, but who knows? Washburn won’t block anyone in 2009, but he would provide some insurance.

      • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

        Thanks for the blog compliments. The Chuck Norris thing was mad funny dude. Haha, you should write a blog man, you are friggin’ better known than some of the guys on River Ave Blues

      • christopher

        no their off-season plans (sabathia) makes him somewhat expendable

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

          And no, adding Sabathia STILL doesn’t make IPK expendable.

          I’m not ruling out trading him, but adding Sabathia to a Joba/Wang/Pettite/Moose/Washburn corps doesn’t make ANY of our young pitchers “expendable”, because we have to assume that the last three names on that list are not long for the pinstripes, so new holes will be created in no time…

  • Brian

    best post title since “Gagne heading to Boston?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    Heh, you know today is just a month past the 45th anniversary of that speech?

  • Yankees=warriors

    Sorry, I’m learning German now and just have to point out…it’s “kandidat”.

    Back to the topic, though I’ve been a Kennedy hater, I still hope he can work out for the Yanks. Players from our own farm succeeding makes me feel even happier than seeing signed players perform well for no special reason.

    • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

      Hey, no German on this site please, it’s kind of the language of, erm, evil. Being Polish I can say this.

      IPK in Colorado just seems like a bad idea to me though, I’m not sure Colorado is sold on him. Let’s let him pitch. I also wrote an article on why Mark Teixeira sucks, on my blog, if anyone is interested. It’s my link.

      • RollingWave

        Joe, I think there’s some issue with your arguement on Teix.

        1. your using this year, Teix is having a career norm year, while Berkman is having a career year.

        2. in terms of career, Berkman is about 10 points better than Teix in terms of OPS+, however over the last 5 years (since he’s about 5 years older than Teix) he’s only had 1 season where his career OPS+ wasn’t above his career.

        3. Using Pujols to compare with anyone not named A-rod or Bonds is unfair.

        4. Inflation adjustments

        5. marginal values and supply comparasons?

        Considering all these. he’s probably still not worth 10/200, but something like 7/130-140 might make some sense.

        • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

          Yes, you found me out. I got a bit overzealous and editorialized the hell out of the concept. Simply put I don’t want him in pinstripes for anything more than 5/90, and we all know that that is impossible.

      • christopher

        didnt read your blog, but i do feel that tex will be far and away the most over paid FA out there

      • Geno

        “Hey, no German on this site please, it’s kind of the language of, erm, evil. Being Polish I can say this.”

        Joltin Joe, this is a ridiculous statement. Take your xenophobia somewhere else. Anyone who paints a people with a single brush is absolutely ignorant in my book. Open your eyes.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Wait. Really? You do know he was joking, right?

          • radnom

            Geno is short for Genocide

            • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

              haha wow

              • Andy In Sunny Daytona

                German should be a romance language. It sounds so gentile and soothing.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

                  Spreken zie Deutsch, fraulein?

  • jeff

    Headline to closing line, that was well written, Ben.

  • Steve

    Pitchers who command 4 MLB quality pitches should be able to get big league hitters out multiple times through a lineup. I thought IPKs problem was that he was simply bat-shy. Pitchers like him need to stay aggressive, and he wasn’t.

    I also would have liked to see Girardi tell him NOT to shake off Molina. He was thinking too much out there, simplify his task. Tell him “get the sign, execute the pitch”. Let Molina take responsibility for what happens after that. ONe of his problems was he was falling into similar pitch patterns the 2nd and 3rd time through the lineup he faced. MLB hitters will make you pay for that. Girardi likes to let pitcher “make the pitch that they believe in” but for a young pitcher who is over thinking things out there I’d take that out of his hands.

    He also spent very little time in the minors (even for a college pitcher) and maybe it all came a little too fast and a little too easy for him. Comments like “I know what I can do at this level” bugged me. You have to respect the game, it will humble even the best veteran players. A rookie like him needs to learn that.

    I’d give him Rasner’s next start vs the O’s before I pull the trigger on any trades. All he really needs is to gain some experience in order to be an effective back of the rotation starter. He can’t get that at AAA.

    • TheLastClown

      He pitched today right? So then Raspberry’s next start is Monday, and IPK would have to go on 3 days rest. I don’t know anything about his personal response to that, but if he’s pitching well, and getting into a good rhythm *including workouts and side sessions between starts*, then, ya know….if it ain’t broke….

      Or more accurately, if you just recently spot-welded it together, don’t go pounding on the fault lines.

      I was a big Kennedy fan when he came up for his two or three starts last year, just really liked what I saw. I was disappointed that he wasn’t on the postseason roster. I thought it was because he wanted to get married, but I really think it was because of injury…I seem to remember them saying that…..or maybe it was an innings cap, someone tell me.

      I think he can pitch well. I hated seeing him struggle also, but look at Moose. I think, permiting a little digression, that we should keep Moose next year, and trot out there a rotation of: *certain people like to disparage my puffed-up hopes that they’ll sign CC AND Sheets, so I won’t include Sheets*


      Keep Hughes in long relief, I guess a la what’s currently being done with Melancon @ AA, and have a super-valuable backup starter ready to go. I don’t remember when the starting 5 didn’t have some kind of problem with at least one of them, usually very early in the season.

      Ok, back to Kennedy. Another reason we should keep Moose is so he can teach Kennedy the things he’s put together this year, to really dominate with only memories of overpowering stuff, and really crisp versions of what he does have. And this varies day to day, pitchers like this need to be able to identify whats working and what’s not that day. They have many different pitches to choose from, so choosing wisely and not deluding yourself into thinking this pitch or that pitch will work because it should on paper, but doesn’t feel good coming out of your arm.

      I love that style of pitching, and I think Moose, a la Greg Maddux, can keep it up. He’s got the wiliness, the intelligence, and the tenacity to hang around until he’s truly done. The level of his stuff as we see it, in my opinion, can continue for 2 years, maybe three, with the pitch count and IP decreasing gradually. But 5 IP of what we just saw for 8 aint half bad.

      Plus, they could do a mock-father-son limbo competition, although they’d have to bend backwards rather than their usual forwards.

      • TheLastClown

        Also, I didn’t mean mop-up Latrine Hawkins janitors duty. Or Giese’s position as the lone-long-underused-ranger. I meant stretching him out to multiple relief innings, maybe in close games, so he can be ready to spot if/when someone goes down.

        Not that I think anyone’s actually still up *on the West Coast* or getting up yet *on the East*

        Maybe some of you Mountain/Central fans though…..

  • mustang

    Boy, I knew this was coming IPK has back to back good starts in AAA and here we go again. If he can help that’s great, but this is not the time to start what they tried at the beginning of the season. All I see is trade value going up.

    • TurnTwo

      agreed. i simply see this at this point as perfect timing for the Yankees to be able to move him for a fairly significant trade piece at the deadline.

  • KW

    I’m not sure that Kennedy’s trade value could be much lower (triple A no hitters dont help trade value), so I’m not sure that it makes much sense for the Yanks to deal him.

  • andrew

    im pretty sure AAA no hitters do help trade value… remember were trading a prospect here, its not like we sent mussina down to AAA and everyone expected him to dominate

    • KW

      Right, but 7 inning triple A no hitters against a weak hitting team doesn’t exactly help your trade value when you have a 7.41 ERA and a whip of 1.75 in the majors.

      • TurnTwo

        unless you have previous success at the MLB level, and a history of domination in the minor leagues.

        its not like a Jason Jones who isnt really a prospect who goes out and has a great night.

        IPK was a first round pick who blazed his way thru the minor leagues and hit a bump in the road. now he’s working to restore his value to where it once was.

        • KW

          I’m not sure that this would do it. I think his talent level is where it is at and has always been. He’s definitely on track to be at least a quality part of any rotation in the big leagues, let alone a team that has the highest payroll in the majors. I think him having success at the ML level would boost his trade value. This AAA stuff is designed for him to get back to where he needs to be from a innings level perspective and to make sure he’s ready to pitch in the majors again. Nothing more, nothing less.

          The idea that this is to boost his trade value is laughable! This isn’t an unknown ripping up the minors. it’s the #1 pick of the 2006 draft of the yankees with a history of tearing up the minors. Who are we kidding? This kid can be good, but someone who think this is boosts his trade value is definitely wrong.

      • ChrisS

        8 ML games in his second professional season.

        That’s a ridiculous standard to hold someone to, especially with the pitching resume that IPK has.

        • KW

          Read my comment again. What did I actually say?

          I said that his trade value doesn’t jump from a near 7 inning AAA no hitter. How would it? Teams and executives KNOW how how he’s going to perform and what his talent level is. Suddenly because of a 7 inning near no hitter he’;s that much more valuable? Unbelievable. Teams trade for prospects based on future ability, not past success.

          Who’s holding him to high standards? 8 ML games and he’s struggled heavily. Does that mean he sucks? Of course not. But the fact that he did struggle means that his value is lower now than it was at the beginning of the season. Now he’s suddenly a valuable commodity because of a AA no hitter????

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            He’s 11 MLB starts, and he was really good in this three outings last year. Those count too.

            • KW

              No argument here, in all honesty I’m 100% on board with building up the rotation and the pen through the draft and minors development. I don’t think he’s worth as much as he should be as “trade bait” as some posters here have said, and i think that’s unarguable. I also don’t think it makes much sense to say his trade value’s being boosted with these AAA starts. We all know what Kennedy can do (he had a superlative start in toronto last year), so the idea that throwing no hit ball in AAA is boosting his value for a trade is fallacious. The Yanks know what he can do, so they’re trying to build him up to be in the rotation, nothing more, nothing less. He’s a #1 pick and reached the majors, blazing through 3 levels of the minors. How can anyone think that Kennedy can’t be an ace in the majors?

  • ChrisS

    For the last 5 seasons, the Yankees have been one piece away and that philosophy has left them with how many world series titles and how many holes on their roster?

    IPK stays, the most ambitious they should get with a trade is one for an uber OF prospect/hitter. Instead of chasing and overpaying for hitters at, or just past, their peak, just so we can watch them decline, I’d like to see a concerted effort to develop the next solid core of Yankees (a la 1994-5). The OF has holes, but over-paying for Bay or Holliday will only kick the can down the road a few years. Is 4 years of Holliday worth potentially 10-12 years of IPK?

    • TurnTwo

      “Is 4 years of Holliday worth potentially 10-12 years of IPK?”

      yes, it is.

      although, i dont know where you pull 4 years from… he’s a FA after 2009, so you have him for 1.5 years, and then if you sign/extend him, its gonna be for more than another 2.5 years.

      • ChrisS

        The four years is based on how most hitters decline post-28/9. Bobby Abreu had a 145 OPS+ 4 years ago. Bay is already a horrid fielder. Holliday is without a doubt at his peak. So whoever trades for him will buying at his most expensive. It’s the same philosophy that the Yankees have been following for the last 7 years; buying into players at or past their peak. The result is an old team with injury problems and holes.

        • TurnTwo

          ah, gotcha.

          i just dont get how Matt Holliday is old and passing his peak. He’s 28, and will be 29 for the 2009 season.

    • r.w.g.

      That’s a tough question to answer. Because we don’t really know what kind of pitcher Kennedy is.. so we have no idea how to project him over a decade.

      And we also really don’t know what 4 years of Holliday – away from Coors’ Field – would look like.

      If you’re trading a guy who’s gonna post ERAs just over/just under 4.00 pretty much every year for a poor defensive outfielder who suddenly can’t quite SLG .500.. maybe you’re right.

      • ChrisS

        I’m not 100% opposed, but because I don’t think that IPK alone will get the job done for a guy at his peak value, I’m hesitant to gut a system that has few high-level prospects.

        But smart organizations don’t trade good prospects for post-peak hitters. It’s the other way around.

        Being completely objective, and not considering their yankee-dom, the three most valuable trade chips the Yankees have right now are Rivera, Jeter, and Damon. Now, not one will be traded, but can you imagine the haul for a 38 year old HOF closer having a CY Young season? Mo will likely have another 3 good years, I’m sure, but you could fleece a team in a pennant race for 20 years worth of prospects. Think of what the market for Fuentes is and triple it for Rivera. I could be wrong, but it’s an interesting thought.

        • radnom

          “I could be wrong, but it’s an interesting thought.”

          You’re forgetting his salary.

    • Chris

      I have absolutely no interest in Holliday. Have you looked at his home/road splits? His stardom is a product of Coors.

      • Glen L

        .400 OBP on the road and the short right porch at the stadium would treat holliday quite well

        just saying

        • TurnTwo

          i dont think the short porch in RF really would help Holliday much, actually. but i still think he’s a fine hitter.

  • r.w.g.

    I would like to see Kennedy get one or two extended looks with the team before making a blanket decision on trading him.

    And while I would eventually hope one of our back-end starters would be upgraded this year (you’re right Ben.. we need a better than average 4th starter with Wang down), I don’t want to rush Kennedy… again.

    Has the guy had even 10 total starts at the AAA level, even including these last rehab starts?

    Maybe hang on to him for at least next season, feel him out. If the other kids in the system are better and progressing the positively, they will push him. If they aren’t, we’ll all be glad they didn’t trade him.

    • TurnTwo

      i guess you figure with the timing, he’ll have one more start in Scranton before we hit the deadline, right?

      • r.w.g.

        I’d like to leave him down there as long as possible. I don’t think a whole year would kill him at all.

        But yeah, he should get one more start. Honestly.. it wouldn’t be a bad idea to think about upgrading Rasner and Ponson.

        Earlier in the year they were swinging guys around that back end, with Rasner and Giese and some other guys getting starts and throwing their 2 cents in.

        Maybe we can get somebody to replace one of the guys now, and let Kennedy continue on his roll and called up in mid-to-late August.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

        Yeah, it seems he’s going Tuesday or Wednesday.

        • ChrisS

          Yeah, it should be in Syracuse, so I’ll be at the games.

  • Bo

    If you wouldn’t trade IPK for guys like Santana you shouldnt be trading him for guys like Marte or Nady or Fuentes.

    Think on it. Has Cashman ever traded a top prospect? I don’t think they have lost faith in him.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      “If you wouldn’t trade IPK for guys like Santana”

      Come on, Bo, that’s a specious statement and you know it. There’s a difference between not wanting to trade Kennedy for Santana, and not wanting to trade Hughes and Kennedy for Santana.

      • r.w.g.

        Plus the $137 million dollar contract.

        • Bo

          If they think that IPK has top of the rotation ability you don’t trade him for relievers. Or anyone for that matter. I wouldnt give up on him after 10 so so starts

  • Steve S

    You cant trade him. There is nothing out there that even approaches what you would want to get. The premier guys are Holliday and Texeira, who are both Boras clients and will hit free agency this year and next year. Holliday’s splits scare anyone from really labeling him as premier. And Texiera for two months isnt worth someone who could fill a rotation spot now or even next year (ask the Braves).

    As for the second tier guys- Bay and Nady, neither are worth it. And then the arms- Brian Fuentes is ridiculously overpriced right now. He has never pitched in the American League, he was injured last year and is without a doubt a rental because he wants to close. The idea of trading anything of value for him is insane. And the same goes for any of the other relievers out there, especially when the bullpen looks good and is the in essence the youngest part of this team.

    Unless Halliday becomes available (unlikely), then Kennedy should be retained. They need depth in the rotation. Even next year with everyones proposed rotations featuring CC or Sheets, you need guys who can supplement. Kennedy probably cant be a front end guy but he can be a middle of the rotation top tier rotation guy (almost like an Andy Pettitte type). He is expendable, but at his age and his price you dont trade him for lefty relievers or two month rentals. This kid isnt Branden Claussen, he clearly got rushed through the minors but unlike Joba he doesnt have the stuff to get by. he needs to be refined which is the purpose of the minor leagues.

  • Chris

    I think they should start Moose on 4 days rest Monday. That way they line up Kennedy and Rasner to pitch on the same day. I don’t really care if they give Rasner another shot on Tuesday, but if he struggles again, then they should give Kennedy another shot.

    I’d be very hesitant to trade Kennedy right now. Even with the near no hitter, his trade value is very low. If you really want to get fair value for him, then call him up and give him a half dozen starts in the majors and trade him this off season.

  • Sherman

    I think you ahve to give IPK more of a shot….we are writing him off too early as JUST trade bait, as TurnTwo said, “IPK was a first round pick who blazed his way thru the minor leagues and hit a bump in the road”…Let him work his way back, everybody struggles at times,
    Kershaw has a 5.18 era, Baily a 6.29, and both of them are better prospects than Kennedy…These guys are young, they struggle, don’t lose faith in them so quickly

    • Old Ranger

      Good post, I for one, agree. 27/08??

    • TurnTwo

      but the team/organization is in win-now mode. and if you can get something valuable for IPK now, youve got other young arms behind him coming up who will be another year closer to the big leagues to help out, if needed.

      i dont think anyone is giving up on IPK, but if you can improve a weakness at the mlb level by dealing from a strength in the system, it makes sense.

      • Sherman

        I fully understand that, and it’s a valid point, but the truth is that a Bay or a Nady doesn’t seem to be enough to me. I’m not particularly high on either of them, and though I agree that if we were to be offered a good enough deal then Kennedy should be traded, I don’t think teh options we have seen are good enough.

      • ChrisS

        It’s been in a win-now mode for last seven years. And the result of that is a roster full of injury plagued 30-something hitters with zilch for MLB ready position prospects.

        The win-now mode is good for a season or two and the impact of mid-season acquisitions is mediocre at best. There’s no reason to buy high and sell low, which is what the Yankees have been doing for 7 years.

        • TurnTwo

          no matter how you personally feel, the Steinbrenners have said they want to make a move this season to show the veterans on the team that they have their back, and they want to show their support by getting a player or two necessary to make the final push here.

          “And the result of that is a roster full of injury plagued 30-something hitters with zilch for MLB ready position prospects.”

          but in most of these current proposals, you are dealing some arms to get a young offensive player to fill that positional gap. trading a system strength for an organizational weakness in this case makes sense.

          “The win-now mode is good for a season or two and the impact of mid-season acquisitions is mediocre at best. ”

          but if you are smart about what moves you make, you acquire a player who isnt just a 3 month rental, and young enough to help the team for maybe 4 or 5 seasons, not just a year or two

  • ChrisS

    Holliday’s splits scare anyone from really labeling him as premier

    Except Colorado. I think Holliday is a good hitter, I just think that the acquisition cost will be for a .950-1.000 OPS hitter when you’re really getting an .850 OPS hitter.

    But, I agree with your whole post. Though I don’t think Halladay is going anywhere for anything less than a Joba-plus-type package.

  • Relaunch

    Hasn’t Kennedy done this before in the minors? Didn’t he throw 1 one hitter in the minors and everyone was going ga ga here?
    He is the last person I want to see or hear about. He think’s its his right to be on the major league team and produce crappy results.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      He is the last person I want to see or hear about.

      Really? That’s pretty harsh words for a first round draft pick with results that show success at every level except for 37 big league innings earlier this year.

      He think’s its his right to be on the major league team and produce crappy results.

      Says how? George King? Joel Sherman? That’s a fairly bold claim with little evidence.

      I’m not saying Kennedy’s going to be the second coming of anyone, but slamming him like that seems a little short-sighted.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        That’s right! Giving up on a 23 year old because he’s had a couple of bad months is ridiculous.

        • Relaunch

          Never said I was giving up on him. What I have always said is he is a 4 to 5 starter at best. When he was getting rocked here early in the year, his comments sounded like he deserved to be in the big leagues. He is an overhyped prospect illustrated above when people say they would trade for Bay with Kennedy only straight up. Why would the Pirates do such a trade? Love this site, but RAB has made Kennedy something he is not.

          • Geno

            Spoken like someone with little knowledge of history. You need to give him time to fail before you declare him a #5 starter. The guy’s done nothing but dominate at every level. He got to the big leagues and stumbled, just like virtually every pitcher in the history of the game.

            Sure, every once in a while you get a rookie who lights the world on fire, but more often than not, an ace takes a few years to fully mature. Yeah, I think he’s got ace potential. My guess is he settles in as a solid #3 starter for the next decade.

            Finally, a blog is easily the most democratic form of mass publication. How in the fuck could such an entity “make Kennedy something he is not”? We aren’t the borg, bro. We operate as independent minds.

            • Relaunch

              Haha, an ace. Nice one. Sure, you know me very well to say that I speak with little knowledge of history.
              Kennedy’s talent is not in the same league as Glass Hughes or Joba. Wether the others talent translates into results is another story.
              Many people have aced the minors and failed in the bigs, that is nothing new. Many of those pitchers have average stuff, similar to Kennedy’s. There is nothing about Kenndy’s stuff that screams dominant or ace, just average (which is fine).

              Like I said, I come on this blog every day and I like it alot. But my point was making Kennedy something he is not by putting him in the same league as Hughes and Joba. He is no where near that level.

          • ChrisS

            190.2 IP 117 H 62 BB 203 K 1.89 ERA, 0.94 WHIP over 1.5 seasons of professional ball across 6 levels, 1st round draft pick, slipped to the Yankees because of money, 2nd at USC for Ks/9IP behind Mark Prior.

            IPK is not over-hyped. He’s been lights out at every level except 8 starts at the ML level in his 2nd year of professional ball. Just because he doesn’t throw 98 doesn’t mean he won’t be good.

            Thankfully, you’re not employed in the Yankees front office.

          • Sherman

            How about when he was solid as all hell last year…Jesus, talk about “what have you done for me lately” give the kid a break

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            Most of the comments back when IPK was Hoover’ing it up earlier had less to do with IPK “deserving” to stay with the big club and more to do with the fact that we had no better options in the minors.

            Remember, Ponson wasn’t with the club yet, Rasner was his usual uninspiring self (he came out of nowhere for a month before regressing to the norm), Karstens was hurt, and if we were going to send IPK down, it looked like we’d be bringing Kei Igawa up.

            Which we did.

            Shitty IPK >>>>>>>>>> The Oarai Outlaw.

            • Andy In Sunny Daytona

              Fuckin Gator. Screwing up the mechanics. Unretire that somabitches number.

      • Sherman

        Plus, who wouldn’t want a young prospect to “think it’s his right to be on a majhor league team right now”
        I don’t know about you, but I would have some serious problems with a guy who dominated in Triple-A and told himself “Yah know what, I really like it in Scranton, screw the big leagues”

        • Relaunch

          He can talk like that when he produces, not gets rocked 75% of the time.
          Maybe Melky should talk like that since he doesn’t like Scranton either.

          Hilarious thinking that he is an untouchable and ace in the making. No scout that has ever scene Kennedy has every said that about him.

          • Sherman

            Never said he was an ace (solid 3) I don’t think that’s what anyone is saying, but by your rules, he cannot think he deserves to be in teh big leagues until he pitches well there….which won’t happen until he get’s to the big leagues…which won’t happen unless he is in the majors….does…not…compute

            • Sherman

              again…rude, sorry relaunch (see old ranger’s comment below). All I’m sayin is that a bit of cockiness is good in a pitcher, all teh good ones believe they should be there. And if that mentality gets him to finally attack teh strike zone and pitch like he is in Scranton, then I am all for it.

    • Old Ranger

      What is with you today? Are you nuts, or just a bad hair day? Congratulations, I think you beat out the last couple posts on the thread before this one with your insulting criticism of IPK. Good going…NOT! 27/08??

    • Old Ranger

      Relaunch, sorry ’bout the rant…
      One gets very reactionary sometimes.
      I have seen pitchers such as; Herb Score (Cle 1950s) come up and blow people away. And I have seen guys such as Sandy Koufax (1950s) come up and throw the ball so hard they couldn’t control it…Randy Johnson was also in that category. Others, such as Eddie Lopat couldn’t brake a pain of glass. All three of the latter pitchers went on to be very good. Herb was injured…hit in the eye, never could see very well after that.
      Point being…one can’t give up on players such as IPK, Brett, A-Jax, Tabata, Sublett, Snyder and etc., just because of set backs. 27/08??

      • Relaunch

        I don’t disagree with you there. But there is also this feeling that all the Yanks prospects are awesome and they should wait for all of them to come up. There are small chances that most of these people will do anything significant in the majors.

        • Old Ranger

          You are absolutely right on that point, but one must give a high end prospect the chance to fail or make it…weather they are great or just good, a few innings is not enough to judge a player on.
          One other thing to chew on, I have seen (and been one of) players with unlimited skill. They blow all opposition away until they meet up with equal or better talent, then it doesn’t click as it once did. They get confused and (because everything was easy) don’t know what to do or how to adapt. Once they get their stuff together, they take off. Moose is a prime example; last year…confusion, this year…cocky! In my case, it was football injury. IPK may never be a #2-3 type pitcher, but few of us ever thought he would be. I would settle for a very solid #3-4 pitcher. 27/08

  • A.D.

    In reality this was obviously a great start for IPK, but it alone shouldn’t promote him, this and last appearance were very good, but the 2 before that were fairly eh. Give him a few more starts, then he’d have strung some 4-5 great starts together, and then bring him up. This happened before where they sent him down for one start, brought him right back and it didn’t work out, let IPK get in a groove.

    I don’t think anyone should ever doubt the potential IPK holds, we all saw him come up last year and basically dominate in the majors, it’s mainly a matter of consistency.

  • mike

    Lets seperate the debate:


  • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com Bruno

    IPK for Salty!!!

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Bruno, do us all a favor:

      Remove the bookmark you have on the Texas Rangers prospect list.

      They’re not trading any of their catchers. Not Saltalamacchia, not Ramirez, not Teagarden, probably not even Laird. Not happening.

    • Josh

      you would need to offer more than that for salty

  • TurnTwo

    i know this is a crazy idea, but i feel a little crazy today.

    i mentioned before about how a trade for Washburn could make IPK (or Hughes) expendable for the right price… but what if IPK (or Hughes) is used in the very same deal, and it all ties neatly together?

    hear me out… Ed Price wrote a stupid article about how the M’s are now interested in Melky or Gardner, right? and the Mariners were looking to dump some more salary on the Yankees in the form of Vidro, right?

    well screw Vidro, but…

    what if you package Melky, IPK (or Hughes), Igawa, and say another prospect or two and take on not only Washburn and his salary, but Ichiro and his contract, too?

    i know, i know. its stupid. but i was just trying to think outside the box a little…

    • ChrisS

      No. Double No.

      The Mariners suck for a reason.

      • TurnTwo

        but that reason isnt Ichiro.

        • ChrisS

          A 34 year old slap-hitting OFer with an OPS of 102, no power, no walks, and some steals?

          Ichiro’s skill set is interesting, in that he’s still an outstanding defender, but he’s not a solution. I’ve always thought that Ichiro was overrated because he was a fast guy that hit a lot of singles. The Mariners are bad because they devoted a lot of their resources into a player that’s not as much of an offensive force as he’s being paid for.

          I’d trade for Balantien.

          • TurnTwo

            he plays CF this year, and can slide to RF next season if they let Abreu walk.

            the salary is negligible for the Steinbrenners, and the Yankees dont have to lean on production from Ichiro to win ballgames like the Mariners did.

            i agree that Balantien wouldnt be a bad option, but if the Mariners are going to make changes, shed payroll, and rebuild, they arent moving him… would make no sense.

    • ChrisS

      But thinking outside the box is fun. Hell, upthread I suggested trading Mariano.

      These discussions get repetitive fast, so whatever off the wall shit that comes is usually fun to think about.

      • TurnTwo

        agreed. thats why i said its just kind of thinking of something new, or adding something to the equation.

        good to have a little fun on a friday.

        • Old Ranger

          Ah, for the fun fridays bring us.
          Not to bad a deal…Johnny is gone after ’09 (or before). I must also say that Chris (above) has good points also. I guess that is why we post and Cash et.el., do their jobs. 27/08??

    • Old Ranger

      Ichy as a lead off and RF in place of Bobby, for 2-3 years? I would go for that, but take out Phil. Ichy would need to up his game a bit, this year isn’t to good…so far. 27/08??

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      TurnTwo: Stay inside the box. All your thinking should be done there.

  • mike

    I got cut off re:debate! mea culpa.

    1. Is IPK a top-of-the rotation guy who can be a critical part of a playoff-rotation within next 3-5 years

    2. Is the value of IPK sufficient enough that the Yanks can get a player to help them be more successful over the next 3-5 years.

    Most important thing is to scout your own squad, and I personally do not feel IPK is going to amount to more than a #4 starter on a playoff+ team. could he be a 15 win pitcher on a good team a la Neagle, Rogers, Witt (going back) – yes. Can he give you a nice run of starts? yes. Could you start him in the playoffs in a few years if all goes well? Likely. That is top-limit for a guy who has demonstrated no big kick on his fastball, relying on overanxious hitters and pinpoint control – that Maddux 2006, not 1996.

    Theoretically, if IPK and (parts) could be sent to get a power-righty bat to fill a gap in our lineup with balance under control for 1 1/2 years at a reasonable cost, basically pushing abreu off the team next year (and getting picks for him) ?

    If I were Cashman, it would be hard to not make the deal

    • A.D.

      It would make a lot of sense if IPK could be a main piece in a Bay or Holliday trade.

      • TurnTwo

        agreed, which is why this start last night couldnt have come at a better time, IMO.

    • Old Ranger

      Again, why is it everyone wants a right handed bat? A very good lefty can hit good lefty pitching. Remember all the guys we have had over the years that hit them hard; Bobby (not so much this year), Donny, Pauly, Jason (N.S.M.T.Y.) and even Cano. The Stadium was built for leftys, see the 26 WS. If we drop Jason, Bobby and maybe even Johnny…we are left with; Wilson, Cano, Matsui as our leftys’. Do you really want to go that way? 27/08??

    • dan

      He’s not a top of the rotation guy (especially when the top of your rotation consists of Joba, Wang, and Hughes). He’s a #3 starter in his prime.

  • bklynJT

    I admit that I have given up on IPK early on this season, but let’s step back a bit and take into account how much we rushed this kid through the system. I still think he can become a valuable pitcher in this league, despite his early season struggles.

    Come on, no one though Cliff Lee and Mike Mussina would be having the years that they are. Kennedy is young and inexperienced, he justs needs to figure it out, and when he does he will be a great #3 or 4 stater.

    I can’t stand the fact of trading players at their lowest value, especially for a player at their highest value..

  • http://heartlandpinstripes.wordpress.com/ Jason from The Heartland

    Very witty title, Ben. As a historian, I appreciate it much. I’m one to counsel patience with the kids, especially pitchers. Rare are they who enter the bigs with a flourish. So many struggle early, including the greats as history has shown with Koufax, Gibson, Glavine and more. They all experienced periods of hard knocks early. I say hold onto Kennedy UNLESS the Yanks can parley him into a big, useful trade for someone like Matt Holliday (and I don’t suspect Colorado parting with him). I still believe IPK has lots of potential, that his early-season struggles related to a lack of confidence when he was nibbling instead of going after batters, and that, again, kids struggle. I’d much rather see the Yanks hold onto Kennedy and develop him–and pitches such as a back-door fastball that Mussina has used well against lefties–instead of trading him.

    I’m going to add your fine blog to my Yankees blogroll. Keep up the good work, Ben et al.

  • Count Zero

    Just to go back to what I said that’s buried above…

    We only have two starters for sure in ’09: Wang and Joba. Andy is not under contract and almost didn’t come back for ’08. Moose is a shrewd guy and will likely want to parley the season he is having into 2 years minimum — which may not be worth it.

    Then you have Hughes, IPK and a bunch of prospects. Even if you sign CC or Sheets, that’s only five starters plus two maybes. Acquiring Wash makes it six.

    I think I once heard that you can never have too much pitching…

    I’m not saying I wouldn’t trade IPK for the right deal…I’m just not sure the right deal is out there.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I wasn’t gonna harp, but since it’s in two comments in a row… the word is “parlay”.

      Parley is a discussion or a conference. Parlay is a trade, gamble, or exchange.

  • Pingback: Ian Kennedy making a case for himself(again) « The Analytical Yankee Fan

  • Manimal

    His stuff might work in the minor leagues but in the Major’s he chokes and loses control. Not Major League Material. No offense to him, I wish he does well but I just didn’t like what I saw when he was in the Major’s.

    • dan

      It’s not like he’s a “trick-pitcher.” You can’t make a broad statement about his stuff not working in general… what exactly about his pitches leads you to believe that Major League hitters will crush it?

      Remember, Kennedy got to the big leagues in 4 months. Most guys get 4 years.

      • Chip

        Agreed, CONTROL is the most important asset for major league pitchers. Kennedy has league average stuff and above average control which makes him a very good #3 guy. You do realize very good #3 guys get paid about 12 million a year as the FA market right?

        • Old Ranger

          CONTROL, without COMMAND is not that good. One must have Command of his pitches…it’s the last thing a good pitcher gets. Many can get the ball over the plate, but it takes command to get it where one wants to place it over the plate…with the right movement. How many times have we heard;”He got to much of the plate?” I am sure this is what you were getting at. 27/08??

  • Tim

    One thing I have really not seen discussed in this thread or anywhere is trading good young pitching prospects for good young hitting prospects. I don’t hink we should be going after established major league hitters but instead target some stud minor league outfielder.

    I look at the Brewers and I see an opportunity. They already traded one great positional prospect for CC but my understanding is that their system is full of other positional prospects who hit. They are also going to lose their top two pitchers to free agency in a few months. So why not make a trade now or at the end of the season where we swap some pitching prospects to a team like the Brewers for some positional prospects?

    • dan

      It’s been discussed previously, although not in a while. Trading prospects for prospects rarely happens because every team overrates its own prospects. I’d be all for trading a couple pitchers for a couple hitters.

      • Old Ranger

        I made a reference to trading MiL pitchers for some MiL hitters in an earlier posting. You are right though, everyone seems to think only of MLB players. There are a few guys in AA, AAA, that are blocked by someone already in the big show.
        Cash…we know you are out there and looking at them, I have faith in your judgement. Yes, I have always said that. Unlike some others. 27/08??

    • Chip

      I’d be fine with that but who would you go for? As of March, project prospect had us with the number 9 and number 10 prospect outfielders (A-Jax and Tabata). Tabata has regressed but he’s still a 20 year old in AA while A-Jax could soon be up to AAA.

      The infield of Jeter, A-Rod and Cano is set for the forseeable future, we have Posada at catcher for the next few years with Montero, Romine, Weems and now another HS catcher in the system (yeah I know they’re low but hopefully one of them turns out to be league average). So basically we can use outfield prospects (be nice to get a few with some power) and maybe power hitting first basemen which you can pretty much always get on the FA market.

      That’s why I love the idea of drafting pitching, pitching and more pitching. Figure we get even 1 guy every draft to the majors, the way the Yankees have been drafting that means that guy will probably throw 98 and have a vicious curve (a la Betences, Garcia, Cole, Brackman, ect)

      • Chip

        I would, however, be completely ok with trading for that Liriano guy. Why not throw a Kennedy, Tabata over there and get a high-risk/high-reward guy like Liriano? He helps this year and next.

        And yes, I do realize the Twins would never do that but isn’t that the point of this thread?

        • dan

          Because Liriano has one of the worst deliveries in baseball. His elbow injury probably isn’t a one time thing, he”’ probably be an injury waiting to happen his whole career if nothing changes, much like Burnett has been. In a few years his shoulder could be the next to go. I’m not a mechanics expert, so if you don’t believe me I won’t be offended. When I get back later I’ll post a link or two to back me up from people who know what they’re doing.

          • Chip

            O I don’t doubt you a bit. I live in the heart of Twins country and have seen him plenty of times myself but you still can’t help but be impressed by what he can do. If you guys wanted your heir to Rivera, he could be it

            • dan

              I could make a case for him being the most talented pitcher in baseball just as easily as I could for him having the worst delivery.

  • http://5 hh

    you kiddin

  • http://heartlandpinstripes.wordpress.com/ Jason from The Heartland

    Thanks, tommiesmithjohncarlos. I didn’t mean to sully this parley by accidentally mixing it with parlay.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos


      • Bonos

        Thank you for pointing these things out, your and you’re drive me crazy and I hate picking.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

          That one’s just too easy…

  • RangerFan

    Like you all say Kennedy is perfect trade bait. So……… with the Yanks having a hole at catcher what is everyones opinions on a Laird/Poveda for Kennedy deal? Poveda is an interesting arm… He had a great year in low a last year but is taking his lumps this year. With Laird, he is signed through 2010 and is young enough to be the catcher of the future the Yanks lack…. He’s proven himself in the majors the most and could make an impact immediately….. We also have Salt/Teagarden and Max Ramirez who are still young… Thoughts?