In return to the Majors, Kennedy falters

DotF Lite: Pope killed, but Tampa thrashes the Threshers
A Manny formality, but . . .

I’m not going to mince words about Ian Kennedy’s start today. It went about as poorly as anyone could hope.

Kennedy faced 16 batters tonight in just over two innings of work. He gave up nine hits and a walke en route to a five-earned run performance. On the season, he is now 0-4 with an 8.17 ERA, and opponents are simply teeing off against him.

As we saw with Kennedy in April and May, his approach at the Big League level seems off. He can dominate Minor League hitters, but he hasn’t yet made that jump up to the highest level of competition. For two-plus innings tonight, I saw Ian Kennedy miss with his breaking pitches and nibble at the corners. When he had to make pitches in hitter’s counts, he offered up 89-mile-per-hour fastballs that were drilled for base hits.

After Kennedy left, Darrell Rasner and Brian Bruney, pitching for the fifth time since coming off the DL and the fourth time in the last five days, combined to allow five runs on eight hits in six innings. While Kennedy didn’t do the job, neither did the bullpen, and a woudla-coulda-shoulda comeback by the Yanks — they were within one after a two-run sixth — never really came to fruition.

We could point fingers at the bullpen, but everyone knows this game is on Kennedy’s shoulders. As Ed Price noted during the game, the stats aren’t pretty. Kennedy has become the first Yankee rookie to win his first Big League start and then go winless in his next 11 outings. His ERA to date puts him in some rather unrarefied company as well.

Now, over the course of this season and especially tonight, we’ve long been accused of being Ian Kennedy apologists. We, our detractors say, have a blind faith in a young man who hasn’t yet shown that he can succeed above AAA. We are too willing to look beyond his short-coming and predict him as the next Mike Mussina, the next Tom Glavine, if only he would attack Major League hitters.

Tonight, I’m not going to offer up apologies for Kennedy. He was terrible. But — and you knew a “but” was coming — the idea that he’s finished as a prospect, that he sucks, that he will never amount to anything is simply wrong, and in responding to that spurious line of thinking, we are labeled apologists.

Kennedy now has a whopping 58.2 innings of Major League experience under his belt. In 19 of those innings, he was pretty damn good; in 39.2, he was pretty terrible. And it’s simply impossible to judge a pitcher based on 58.2 innings.

Everyone involved with the team from Hank Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman on down knows that, with a plan that includes young pitchers, growing pains are part of the bargain. Sustained future success is more important that short-term, one-year victories, and if that future success means watching 23-year-old First Round draft picks struggle, then so be it. The Yankees are willing to accept that because they know the dividends it can pay. The fans want everything now, now, now.

Who knows what Ian Kennedy will become? He could be another member in a very long line of failed pitching prospects that dot baseball history; he could become a serviceable middle-of-the-rotation guy; he could triumph over this adversity and deal in the Majors as he has through every other level of professional baseball. But right now, we just don’t know what he’ll do, and 39.2 innings this year just isn’t enough to pass judgment. Kennedy haters can call us apologists, but I like to think of it as a more discerning approach to analyzing baseball.

DotF Lite: Pope killed, but Tampa thrashes the Threshers
A Manny formality, but . . .
  • mustang

    Agree with everything until you got to the “BUT”, but I spend a very entertaining thread argue the point so I will leave it to everyone else.

  • mustang

    “Kennedy haters can call us apologists, but I like to think of it as smarter baseball.”

    Wow !!! Ok, then.

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

      I changed that. I didn’t like the way it came across.

      • mustang

        discerning-Exhibiting keen insight and good judgment; perceptive.

        I don’t know about that either, but it does come cross better.

      • mustang

        Ben K. says:
        August 8th, 2008 at 11:22 pm
        Ian Kennedy kinda sucks. One week ’til Phil?

        I think this was your best evaluation IPK.
        LOL

        • mustang

          Actually I know it was.

    • FL Yank

      It’s incredibly short sighted to call Kennedy “finished as a prospect.” In between the disappointments tonight there were flashes of talent. After the lead off double in the 2nd inning to Kendrick he got Rivera to fly out, struck out Figgins, and got Aybar to ground out. Go ahead and call me an “apologist” but he was incredibly unlucky in the 3rd. The misplay by Jeter on the infield single cost him an out. And both balls hit by Anderson and Kendrick could both as easily been outs. Hell even the RBI double in the first had as much a chance of being caught as it did of dropping. Shoulda, coulda, woulda’s dont change the fact that he lost but why the harsh criticism after just 58.2 innings? Go look at Bucholz and Homer Bailey. Better stuff and stuggling just as much.

      • Chris

        not to mention the pitch to Anderson was a foot out of the strike zone.

        • Steve

          To be honest, thats the most disturbing part of his outing. I know those hitters are very hot right now, but when you make your pitch and they still nail it, its no longer a question of location. You wonder if whether his stuff is good enough to get MLB hitters out.

          • Chris

            But the Anderson hit in particular wasn’t nailed. In fact, if the pitch had been closer to the strike zone, he’d have hit it harder and it would have been a routine fly ball to the left fielder.

  • B

    Just send Kennedy back to the minors!

    • nick blasioli

      great statement…i agree…and leave him there until we can trade him for a good pitcher…

  • LiveFromNewYork

    The now now now mindset is the killer. We would ALL have loved for IPK to come up and shut down the Angels. To show us the mini-Moose that many of us believe he is. But that didn’t happen.

    Even with Phil’s poor eyesight and broken ribs, none of us doubted his mental toughness. Maybe he’s not a steely-eyed and unable to rock him Joba Chamberlain but Phil shows determination and strength.

    Ian probably needs more cooking in the minors. Not because he doesn’t have “it” but because he becomes mentally unglued.

    A week or so ago Edwar threw at a guy who could snap him like a twig and then moved a few inches toward him. Edwar. Ramirez. What? Compare this toughness to a year or so ago he was crying (CRYING) after a game where he was shelled.

    Turns out Torre was ineffective in using him and this year he is being used wisely and doing well and soaks up the learning from the greatest: Mo Rivera.

    But after the shelling and crying jag, many pronounced him dead. He can’t handle the bigs. He folds like a little girl. Even if it was Torre’s fault, there’s no crying in baseball.

    I don’t know what Edwar did to make it back. I really don’t. But he came back with guns blazing. Maybe Ian can too.

    Crazier things have happened in baseball.

  • Adrian-Retire21

    Wonder how many “Save The Big Three” aregonna be bought.

    Hughes and Joba are the future(injuries pending).But like I said and many so called “Trolls” said you can’t start the season with the idea of so many pitchers in your staff of prospects.

    But we learned things.CC will be here next year.Say what you want of Johan.Johan at least hasn’t been on the DL and looks better then Ponson and Rasner.

  • E-ROC

    IPK just needs to attack major league hitters. He does that very well in the minors, obviously. Just needs to have that same mentality at the big league level.

    The bullpen just decided to not attack the hitters either and walk the Erick Aybars of the world. Sheesh.

    • Steve

      “IPK just needs to attack major league hitters.”

      I’d like to agree, but when he did that last night he got crushed. You can say ‘he needs to throw strike one’ but he did that to 8 of the first 11 batters he faced and was still in constant trouble.

      I wonder if Kennedy has the stuff to be a MLB pitcher. I’m not talking about velocity on his fastball, though thats part of it. I’m talking about movement on all of his pitches. Maybe its just a function of him nibbling and being behind in the count too much or having his back to the wall with full counts, but he’s been so bad for so long I’m beginning to wonder if there are any simple answers for him.

  • Haggs

    If you saw IPK’s postgame comments (Pete Abe mentions them), then it’s obvious that the kid’s stuff isn’t his only problem. His head just ain’t screwed on straight.

    You can be cocky if you pitch well, but you look like a jackass if you’re cocky after 9 hits in 2 plus innings. The postgame bothered me about as much as his performance on the mound.

    • mustang

      From Pete Abe:
      IPK:
      “I felt like I made some good pitches,” he said. “I’m not too upset about it. … What was it, a bunch of singles and three doubles? I’m just not real upset about it. I’m just going to move on and I’ve already done that.”

      Those comments will not be popular among his teammates or within the front office.”

      Are you kidding me ? This kids has issues.

      • BigBlueAL

        I just read his comments. Man IPK is getting killed at Lohud. Honestly I dont really care about stuff like that, but it really does look bad when every time Pettitte pitches like shit he rips himself more than this site rips Ponson, IK etc. yet IPK acts like its all good everytime he pitches like shit. Even earlier in the season I read a couple of different articles talking about his attitude and how the organization wasnt too thrilled with him in that capacity. Interesting to see if there is any fallout after his comments tonight…..

        • mustang

          This is the second time this season with the same kind of situation.

        • Steve

          Comments like that are used to explain whats going wrong because of his age and his lack of experience. If a veteran gave those exact same comments after a bad outing, it would be seen as a positive. Then the same writers would be saying “He understands the game” and “You have to have a short memory to be successful”. Thats just scapegoating his attitude as being the real problem. Meanwhile, if those balls that were crushed were hit AT somebody, his attitude would be just fine.

          If he’s making a rookie mistake, its being honest with the NY sports writers. Like A-Rod did when he got here. Jeter can help him out with that.

          • http://www.myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

            There’s a difference between ‘having a short memory’ and acting oblivious to what happened…I dont think any vet who gave his team 2 innings when the bullpen is already taxed and another suspect starter going the next day would have said the things IPK said and be looked at as anything other than crazy.

    • JeffG

      I was watching the post game and it was a bit awkward hearing him say those things but to be fair I’m sure this start hurt him personally and I think he was just trying to get himself ready for the next start. Mo has done that when he came up short in even bigger games.
      Also, I think him losing confidence is a reason the front office was worried about him staying up earlier in the season… I just think he was trying to show them that he is still sure he can pitch and wants the ball up here.

  • BigBlueAL

    As I stated in my last comment in the game thread tonight, even though I was one of the people ripping IPK I along with I hope all the fans who come to this site want him to do good because doing so will mean the Yankees benefit and in the end thats what we all want is for the Yankees to obviously win.

    The fact however is that the Yankees are now 2-7 in games IPK starts this season, and in those 7 starts he only lasted 5 innings twice which means he doesnt even come close to giving the Yankees a chance of winning. Now I am not necessarily saying his career is over and just cut him now, I’m just saying this season he has absolutely killed the Yankees. My problem is people constantly rip Ponson when he has an inning where he loads the bases but gets out of it, let alone when he does pitch poorly. But the fact is for THIS season I would much rather have Ponson in the rotation by a country mile over IPK.

    When I say IPK sucks, he sucks this season and that is something nobody can argue with. Obviously I would rather have IPK in 2009 and hopefully beyond rather than someone like Rasner and especially Ponson. But that doesnt mean when they pitch like shit this season it is OK to absolutely kill Ponson and Rasner to no ends yet I say Kennedy sucks right now and I get hit harder with verbal abuse than Kennedy gets hit by major league hitters. Sorry had to say it and take one last shot at IPK there.

    I love what Cashman has done and I am all for rebuilding the farm system and building alot more from within. The Yankees have done a pretty good job with that via the bullpen and obviously with Joba, Cano, Wang and Hughes as long as he is healthy. But that doesnt mean every prospect the Yankees call up will be good long-term pitchers and should be praised and given a pass no matter how bad they are. Some prospects pan out and some dont, and all I am saying right now in the big-league level IPK is not panning out and he is hurting the Yankees’ chances of making the post-season THIS year. The same way everyone here calls for getting rid of Ponson and Rasner I do the same thing with IPK. Now getting rid of him doesnt mean completely out of the organization, but Im sorry he does not deserve another start in the Majors this season and in that sense I say get rid of IPK for the rest of this season….

    • mustang

      Totally agree.

  • Phil McCracken

    Kennedy isn’t a Major League player. The sooner the Yankees figure this out the better.

    Stash him in AAA, let him strikeout 10 hitters a game, get his value up, and move him.

    Don’t need to get stuck with another Igawa because Cashman doesn’t want to admit the truth.

  • Wolf Williams

    Here’s my problem with Kennedy: Where is there a single sign of improvement, either pitching-wise or in the head-case department? If anyone can spot any improvement, please lay it out here in detail. As far as I’m concerned, patience with a promising young starter is fine, but the street runs both ways. That young gun has to show that he’s willing to do what he has to do to in order to improve.

    I don’t want to hear anything about a low ERA over X-number of games at Scranton. Who cares? The last thing Kennedy should be worried about is how his numbers look after a prolonged stay at the AAA level. What he should worry about is situational pitching and developing an out-pitch, because he sure doesn’t have one now. Even his outs last night were hit hard, harder than most other pitchers see their balls hit. He didn’t have a single at-bat where he appeared to be in control of the hitter. He cannot manipulate a batter with any of his pitches. Can anyone who saw that game recall a single batter who looked worried about any pitch that Kennedy might have thrown? How many swings and misses does he coax from batters? When does he ever appear to be in control of himself, let alone a batter?

    And the bigger problem appears to be that he thinks there’s no problem with his performance. Whenever a guy becomes professionally satisfied, he stops improving. It’s almost as if this kid believes that it’s enough to be in a Yankee uniform. Maybe it gets him laid six nights out of seven; maybe it allows him to hand out business cards that say “Ian Kennedy — Pitcher, New York Yankees.” Maybe all that is enough for him. But there cannot be this excuse that “It’s the Yankees, and that means more pressure.” Well…… so what? How long do we give him to adjust to ‘the pressure?’ Three years? Five? Red Auerbach used to say, and he was right, that ‘guys don’t change,’ and he said this in response to questions about mental toughness, not skill improvement. All athletes get bigger and stronger, and usually a little better, as they approach their late 20s, but what goes on inside a guy’s head doesn’t really change all that much. Clubhouse cancers and chemistry killers at age 22 are usually not winning Roberto Clemente Awards when they’re 35. It’s similarly hard to find quitters or guys who never had a real work ethic who suddenly turn into Josh Hamilton; his story seems one in a million for a reason; it is one in a million.

    We fans are not naive; asking Kennedy to dominate the Angels was unrealistic because no one has dominated that lineup. What most Yankee fans wanted to see in Anaheim were signs that Kennedy had learned something, about himself as well as about how to be a professional pitcher. Again, if anyone can point out that they actually saw these things, then I’m open-minded enough to listen. But I didn’t see it.

    If we’re lucky, Jeter or someone else will give Kennedy the Shooter treatment. Wasn’t there a scene in ‘Hoosiers’ when Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) dunked Shooter’s (Dennis Hopper) head in a basin of cold water and told him that if he ever drank again he’d be gone forever from the team? Hopefully, some Yankees will dunk Kennedy’s head in some cold water and make him realize he’s got a dream gig that millions of people would kill to have. Maybe then he’ll show some respect for his day job.

    Bobby Knight and Bill Parcells always said that whatever your record is, that’s what you are. If you’re 6-10, then you’re a 6-10 team, and you can’t make excuses about the breaks you didn’t get. Kennedy’s record is what it is because that’s the pitcher he’s been, and no excuses about soft line drives, misplayed grounders, or lucky seeing-eye hits can change the fact that he allowed all of that to happen. He’s not a major league pitcher, and it’s about time the Yankees stopped wasting our time making us watch this crap artist.

    • Greg C

      08/02 ANA 1 0 0 7.0 2 1 2 5

    • Phil McCracken

      “Wasn’t there a scene in ‘Hoosiers’ when Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) dunked Shooter’s (Dennis Hopper) head in a basin of cold water and told him that if he ever drank again he’d be gone forever from the team?”

      Yeah there was. Difference is Hopper was drunk. Kennedy is sober and still stinks.

  • Greg C

    Kennedy has 1 full season of professional baseball. keep that in mind. Who knows how he will turn out, but is it reasonable to label him a bust after 1 full season of pro ball? He advanced rapidly through the minors and was an unexpected callup last year ( when he did great..you remember back when then same people hating him now wanted to DFA Moose and anoint IPK one of the saviors).

    And as far as his attitude goes, well wtf. How is he supposed to feel? If he beats himself up is that supposed to help? Different things work for different people but I find it bizarre that so many people think being negative about everything is a normal outlook on life. it is what it is. He can try to do better or he can go back to AAA and count his millions.

    • Wolf Williams

      It’s not about him beating himself up; it’s about him realizing there is a team of veterans around him, veterans who are not 23 years old and who don’t have many chances left to win championships. Kennedy, at the very least, comes off as someone who is not very respectful of what it means to be a team player.

      Granted, I don’t know him and he might be a world-class teammate. But….. we go on the evidence we’ve seen, and that amounts to poor pitching and less-than-urgent comments from him in his interviews.

  • BigBlueAL

    After reading the articles in most of the NY area newspapers this morning talking about IPK’s start and his post-game comments, the guys ripping him in this site went easy on him compared to the media….

  • http://conservationvalue.blogspot.com Jon G

    After those post-game comments, I’m sad to say that my guess is that IPK is done for the year as a Yankee, and probably will be traded before he throws another pitch for the Yanks at the MLB level – even if that isn’t until 7/31/2009… Pitching is one thing, but those respectless comments in a pennant race???!!! I’ve had it with that kid this year. Clearly, the people in the organization who were reluctant to give him a start were right. So who’s next if not Hughes? Does Chase get another start? I think so…

    • Wolf Williams

      “It’s the first bad outing I’ve had since the All-Star break…”

      That’s like saying, “I don’t get it! I was great in Little League.” Does this kid think before he opens his mouth? Does he even realize the change of address from (excuse me) Scranton to Anaheim?

      “There’s a reason I was called up here.” If that isn’t resting on your laurels, then what is? Promotion, properly viewed by the promoted, is not a reward for prior performance, it’s an opportunity to improve when handed more responsibility at a higher level. The sooner this kid realizes that a minor league resume counts for zero — unless you’re trying to screw Annie Savoy — the sooner he’ll realize that the time to look back fondly at his own minor league accomplishments is after he’s retired two decades from now.

      The Yankees have finally found the anti-Jeter. Change Kennedy’s uniform number to 666.

  • MD

    to all the talent evaluators out there, do yourselves a favor and check the first year stats for Smoltz, Glavine, Maddox, and Avery…….and for those of you old enough to get served, check out Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, and about a thousand others……then check out most of the active pitchers today and tell me if year one stats predict future performance…..yes, in about 25% of the cases…going with the kids and living with growing pains doesn’t mean tolerating a 12-9 season, like Pettitte delivered as a rook……it means tolerating 2-7, 3-8 type seasons…….then, if they grow, it turns the corner in 2-3 years…….look up Marty Bystrom if you want to see what a year one star grows into……..

    • Relaunch

      There were also good starts mixed in with the poor ones for the people you mentioned. He has been rocked in every start except 1.

      • mustang

        I agree.
        The people in support of IPK have his minor league numbers, a few games last Sept, and this spring training. Where the other side has most of this year and now his general attitude, which has, not seem to change even after being sent down.
        I’m sorry, but last nights post -game comments have really sour me on the kid.

    • Steve

      That is all true, but its also true that many other guys who fit IPK’s profile never did figure it out and ended up failing at the big league level. So that argument cuts both ways. Actually, there are probably 10 failures for every one success.

      We really don’t know at this point which side IPK will end up on. The people who say “he will never amount to anything” are just making fools of themselves, and the people who say he will turn into Tom Glavine (BTW-a lefty) look like they’re smoking something.

      I will say this, what he needs to learn he can’t do at AAA. He’s destroyed AAA hitters for 2 years now, he just needs to figure how how to set up and knock down MLB hitters. Its also true that we don’t have the luxury of being patient and giving away games with 7 weeks left in the season.

  • Mark B

    Never thought I would say this, but I sure miss Jeff Karstens right about now…..

  • MS

    I hope I’m wrong, but I see Kennedy as a guy who can pitch in the minors and not in the majors. What is his out pitch? (he has nothing special). He reminds me of Mussina without the command. Mussina is a good pitcher, but only when his control is good and he is getting the calls. Kennedy looks like he is a BP pitcher. Plus, he sounds like an idiot when he just smirks and says he is not concerned after the game. I know he wants to portait that he believes in himself, but show us a little bit that he wasn’t happy with the outcome. Please send Phil quick.

    • Relaunch

      He is nothing like Moose. Its an insult to Moose to even slightly compare IPsuk to him. When Moose was 22, he was an ace in the making with great stuff on many pitches. IPsuk is 22 with average pitches at best.

    • Steve

      He is like Moose in that he has good command of 4 pitches. The main difference is that Moose throws more strikes. Moose also was successful right away at the big league level at about the same age as Kennedy.

      • Relaunch

        Moose threw in the mid 90’s. You compare 38 year old Moose’s stuff to a 22 year old IPsuk. anything besides that is an insult to Moose.

  • Relaunch

    Having a nick name for pitcher that sucks and has attitude problems is even more comical. IPSuk is more of an appropriate name for him. Like I said in many of the other threads, he should not have pitched in the majors again in 08. Guy is absolutely delusional.
    Although I have noticed the IPsuk excuse machine decrease a little, people are still saying things like “Damon/Melky should have caught the ball”. The ball was 1 foot from being a HR! Maybe IPsuk shouldn’t have pitched a fatty that got crushed.
    This site bashes Ponson and Igawa, and I don’t think they are good either. But to give a pass to IPsuk everytime he has an awful outing is ridiculous. there is no “But” that should be given when describing his performance. They are awful.

  • http://www.johncerra.smugmug.com John Cerra

    If Kennedy is going to develop into a major league pitcher, he is going to have to go to bullpen, become a long reliever or mop up guy for a while. He needs a short objective, such as pitch one inning, or pitch in a already lost game. This would allow him to experiment with his craft at the major league level and gain confidence. The problem is that he gets a starting assignment vs the best team in baseball…unlike Joba and Hughes, who have a premium pitch or two to fall back on, he needs to fool somebody on nearly every pitch, a la Mussina 2008. It can be done, but he isn’t so sure about it today.

    Personally, I would tell him he is going to back to Scranton to start until a longer relieve role comes up. Phil Hughes would be making his next start for Yanks, and I would be ready to pull him on the count. He is hitting 95 on the gun and the curve ball is sharp. Right there, he is a better alternative than Kennedy.

    Karstens? We gave up on him for exactly the same reasons, and he has now figured it out. I hope Kennedy figures it out for us.

    • Steve

      Worth a shot. Rasner was much better out of the pen last night than he was in his starts. I know his line wasn’t pretty, but 2 of the 3 ER were actually given up by Bruney, who has been absolutely HIDEOUS since he came back.

  • Ghost of Matt Nokes

    Kennedy can always inform people his name was once included as part of trade talks for Johan Santana (and they will fall to the floor gasping in shock). The 2009 rotation will certainly need to be supplemented by free agent signings since the rest of the supposed young pitching saviors are constantly on the DL or rehabbing their arms.

  • Old Ranger

    Ben K…
    Great writing, I think you hit on most (if not all) of the salient points. Not all pitchers can be a Herb Score, Whitey Ford or even Joba.
    I for one will not read anything into his remarks after the game, except they came off badly. After many years of being around people that perform much better then the average person in similar situations, I found…everyone says or reacts differently. Some react with; bravado, sarcasm, shock, etc., I have seen them all. The thing one can never see or hear is the inner self, that’s the only thing that really counts. 27/08??

    • mustang

      I understand what your saying, but I think the Yankees need to set a tone with their younger players from the start. I’m sure his attitude was dress the first time he did this and now he does it again. I understand that people react differently, but when your reactions causes a negative response you have to adjust it accordingly.

      • Old Ranger

        I disagree, one is what one is.
        Paul O. showed his temper, Moose is more analytical, Andy beats himself up…these guys are what they are. One can’t change what they are or how they react to stress…up to a point. 27/08??

      • Old Ranger

        May amend that last post?
        I disagree, one is what one is.

        Paul O. showed his temper, Moose is more analytical, Andy beats himself up…these guys are what they are. One can’t change what they are or how they react to stress…up to a point.
        One can change what they say, and when they say it. 27/08??

        • mustang

          “One can change what they say, and when they say it. 27/08??”

          BINGO !!!!!!

  • xkevinx

    Kennedy had 3 swinging strikes in his appearance. Three. (One each by Aybar, Mathis, Figgins). Everyone says his problem is nibbling, but he should nibble. When he throws strikes, they get hit.

    I personnaly hated his attitude before his postgame comments. When he was demoted, he said he was shocked. Really? Worst performance by any MLB starter to start the season and he was shocked? He acted then like it was not a big deal, and even seemed to blame the fans for his inability to get outs:

    “If I can pitch under a smaller microscope down there in Scranton then maybe it might put a little less pressure on me,” Kennedy said. “Analyzing every pitch doesn’t help. You’re in the big leagues so if you’re not doing very well and you’re in New York, you’re going to get looked at a little different.

    “It’s just on a bigger scale here. If I’m in Scranton doing bad, I’m struggling. If I’m here, the world’s going to end.”

    He didn’t think that he deserved to go to the minors:
    “I’m trying to say it humbly, but it doesn’t matter what I say, it’s going to come out cocky,” he told The Scranton Times-Tribune. “You just know. I woke up today and told my wife, ‘I just have a feeling I’m going to make these guys look stupid.’ ”

    He seems to me an arrogant prick who has baught the hype and annointed himself the next Mussina. I don’t see a future Major league starter. Call me a hater if you want – truth is I do hate him. Send him back to AAA.

    • Steve

      “Kennedy had 3 swinging strikes in his appearance. Three. (One each by Aybar, Mathis, Figgins). Everyone says his problem is nibbling, but he should nibble. When he throws strikes, they get hit.”

      I agree. But the difference between attacking the strike zone and throwing strikes can be subtle, yet it makes all the difference in the world. Its all about how you have set up the hitter. He is the type of pitcher who will get guys out on pitches out of the zone (especially w/his change up) but he has to set them up better.

      One thing he didn’t do much of was changing planes, as they pointed out on YES. Just about everything he threw was waist level or below for most hitters. Mussina became more successful this year when he realized he has to come ‘up and in’ on hitters.

    • mustang

      I don’t hate the guy , but maybe he would be better off in a place or team where he is not under a microscope.

  • NYFan50

    “Who knows what Ian Kennedy will become? He could be another member in a very long line of failed pitching prospects that dot baseball history; he could become a serviceable middle-of-the-rotation guy; he could triumph over this adversity and deal in the Majors as he has through every other level of professional baseball. But right now, we just don’t know what he’ll do, and 39.2 innings this year just isn’t enough to pass judgment.”

    The thing is…is that it doesn’t matter. Whatever Kennedy becomes, he won’t be doing it as a member of the Yankee starting rotation. At least not in 2009. There’s only 5 spots, and next year the first 4 are likely filled by Wang, Joba, Phil and Pettitte. I’d say the probability of re-signing Moose or making a splash with a free agent signing like CC are far greater than giving the spot to Kennedy. Besides, even if they do decide to go with Kennedy at first, what do you do when Brackman or Sanchez (if he doesn’t move to the pen) is knocking on the door? Who gets pushed out? Kennedy.

    Maybe he can be a spot starter. Maybe he can be the long guy out of the pen. But I don’t see him making a whole lot of starts next year for the Yankees. There just isn’t going to be room in the rotation for him. Maybe if he can really grow into his ceiling he’ll get starts in 2010 if Pettitte & Moose are both gone and the 4th and 5th starters aren’t named CC & Brackman. But if those guys are both on the ML team, again, there’s just no room for him in the rotation. So it doesn’t really matter what he will or could become. He probably won’t be doing it as a starter.

  • A.D.

    I mean IPK pitched like shit, probably part of the reason we had the reports that the organization didn’t want to bring him up, and still work on his breaking stuff. I didn’t see the big curve at all last light, maybe I missed it, but if he’s not working the curve thats going to kill him, probably why they didn’t want him up

    Bad start last night, see if he gets another or if Hughes/Pavano get a start

    • Old Ranger

      No problem with your last line, but I think maybe we should add Aceves to the list…unless he is injured again. 27/08??

  • http://www.myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    I hear everyone talk of Phil but hasn’t Phil gotten smashed this year as well?

    • Steve H

      I do seem to remember that. I just hope if he struggles in his 1st start back he doesn’t get blistered the way Kennedy is.

    • Chris

      He has a higher ERA than IPK, even with this latest start included.

  • Ian Kennedy = Wade Taylor

    No way Joba should be in the rotation in 2009 after this latest round of arm issues. Leave him in the pen as the devastating 7th or 8th inning solution that he was – pitching less innings and being groomed to take over for Mariano (when Mo retires after the 2011 season). Kidding re: 2011 but The Big 3 are down to the Big One and Two Thirds and they need to carefully monitor Joba’s arm going forward as carefully as they monitor Hughes’ arm/innings.

    • Tim

      Are you drunk? I notice that you posted at 12:04 so technically it is afternoon but still a little early in the day for drinking. You may want to seek professional help.

  • Bart

    Smart investing rules apply to baseball – the Yankees took on a great deal of Risk with keneedy, Joba, and Hughes

    I likened it over the Sanatana trade weeks to the Mets some years ago with Isringhousen, Wilson, and Pulsiphur.

    The Yankees had an opportunity to trade Kenney and Melky for proven talent – Santana – to remove some risk, protect this season of less than projected offense (also a forecast subject of my posts), and provide shelter for the growth of Hughes and Chamberlin. It would have cost money — but the risk to this season and next would have be reduced. My point then was not just this season but to the future – where pitching would have to be the anchor of a remade offense. It appeared is was an economic as well as we made the drafts we have to trust ourselves and develop our own approach. Laudable but risky in the face of access to proven talent.

    If the Steinbrenners finally moved to the side of fiscal repsponsibility with a plan to reduce payroll – except for ARod and Jeter – by accepting the risk while using the retirement of the Old Yankee Stadium and the opening of the new to filll the coffers, then from a business sense they may have done something brilliant — at some point the fans who expect Yankee WS runs may get annoyed; but that is part of the risk.

    It is more than difficult to determine which players are going to be the stars of the future and it is more difficult wth pitchers. These guys are interesting until they actually demonstrate dominance or at least better than adgequate performance on the big field — most do not burst forth like a Gooden — most require patience; a good run in the minors and a some luck to be needed in the majors. Kennedy, Joba, Hughes were all tagged due their draft posiitons as MUST SUCCEED. As such they carried untradebale tags. Hughes and Joba had flashes or better of major league brilliance — easy to salivate at what might be.

    Kennedy has not had any flashes of brilliance where you would say “man he is going to be special”. I do not know if Maddox or Pettit, or others tantalized us the way Hiughes or Joba have – but Kennedy has not.

    I wanted him up instead of Ponson and Ranser because they are proven near disasters while Kennedy has potential upside.

    In this first start back Kenndy did not shoe any flashes either coming off the solid AAA run but many of the “hits” were off well located pitches — so good they were end of bat and jam shot flares and rollers – the FAT mistakes were there too but the wedge shots are the ones that make you crazy. Kenndy got flares – Ponson got ATEM balls —

    The question is were those flares the more likley result because of Kennedy’s lack of velocity – no broken bats — sufficent time for a defensive swing or to alter just a touch a swing path to contact rather than a swing and miss? Not enough movement due to a combination of velocity and spin rates? If so — if Kenndy needs better late movement rather than simply better location then Eiland will have to work with that and maybe Mo and others can help with adjustments.

    At the moment – he does not look to have the stuff needed to either challenge or fool major league hitters.

    The team didn’t trade him for Santana – we move on and make something of him.

    But for this season — Sabbathia and Washburn look like the better deals not made — to help save this season.

  • Any In Rainy Daytona

    I didn’t think that Kennedy pitched that poorly last night. He challenged the hitters a lot better than earlier in the year. He didn’t throw his curveball enough, IMO, and he seemed to challenge the hitters on the outside of the plate without coming inside enough.
    He was obviously pitching on a short leash.
    I still believe that he has a lot to offer. But for people to scream that he sucks or he’s arrogant, relax. Would you rather have a pitcher who DOESN’T believe that he will be successful?
    No one said that the growing pains for the young pitchers would be easy.
    Joba spoiled us all.

    • Andy In Rainy Daytona

      It helps, with my ligitimacy, if I can spell my own name right.

      • Andy In Rainy Daytona

        or legitimacy..

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Excellent write-up, guys. Nuanced, and exactly how I feel about IPK at this point in time. You’re also slowly weaning yourselves off of blaming Melky for it. :)

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    Of the big three (or not so big three), Kennedy was always the x factor. Is he anything more than a middle of the rotation guy at best. I would have moved him after last season especially in a package for Santana. A suggestion was made in one of the earler posts about using Kennedy in long relief and I believe this is the way to go. Give him a smaller objective where there is less of a spotlight and let’s see what he does. The unfortunate part of this idea is the return of Rasner, but Cashman left us with no choice when he failed to secure a starting pitcher. 2008 is turning out to be not so great.

  • Ian Kennedy = Wade Taylor

    No Tim – I’m not drunk. The fact that Cashman again assembled (gambled) on a shaky starting rotation essentially helped shove Joba into a starting role before the Yanks anticipated. He throws hard and I foresee more trips to the DL if he is forced to become an innings eater as a starting pitcher.

  • Davi

    move him to a small market team. maybe he can’t deal w nyc and the pressure

  • http://godfather frankopy@yahoo.com

    assassinating kennedy is easy….of course, there are famers who began poorly; but they competed to get where they got;;;it’s not the troy boy’s pitching, but his sissy perception of that pisspoor pitching, that should but hasn’t embarrassed him…he thinks it is about him, and it isn’t…dorothy long ago left kansas…mlb is cruel to babies and always has been despite today’s spoiled-brat stages