Kennedy in the right mindset for 2009

Sabathia's simulated game postponed; Jorge feels better
Offense excels but pitching doesn't in 13-11 loss

There exists a chasm between Yankees fans when discussing Ian Patrick Kennedy. There are those who saw his performance — and attitude — last year and took it as a sign that he’s finished in the Bronx. He doesn’t have what it takes, both physically and mentally, and the Yanks should trade him for whatever they can get. Then there are those of us (and I say us because I clearly fall into this camp) who think that he still has the potential to help the Yankees in the future. We base this on his potential, which really hasn’t changed, and the knowledge that some pitchers get shelled early in their careers.

This year is quite different for the former USC star, and he knows it. The biggest difference, of course, is his presumed spot on the team.

“I came to spring training thinking I had that job,” he said. “I was more content, where this spring training I’m hungry to beat out anybody I can. It’s go-time. It’s a little different.”

Mark Feinsand gave Kennedy a positive review on his first start of the spring — one hit, one walk, three strikeouts, and no runs in two innings. He might get one more opportunity to start a game before the real starting five take over the games. Then he’ll probably head across the street to minor league camp so he can get the proper work in.

None of this changes the fact that Kennedy has plenty to prove once the games count in 09. It is a positive sign, though, and we’ve been looking for anything positive from Kennedy since last season. The best case scenario for him is to pitch the entire season in AAA and get some major league innings in September. Some success there could put him in the conversation for a 2010 rotation spot, or make him a valuable trade chip for the Yanks.

Sabathia's simulated game postponed; Jorge feels better
Offense excels but pitching doesn't in 13-11 loss
  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    I’ll believe it when I see it. He has a serious attitude problem and it doesn’t get fixed by just saying it is.

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

      On what exactly are you basing this whole “serious attitude problem” assessment? Some made-up outrage in a Mike Lupica column or reality? He was cocky; he learned his lesson. To say you’ll believe it when you see isn’t much different from Bob Klapisch’s point-blank accusation that A-Rod is still lying.

      • http://www.myspace.com/bayside Thirty5Thirty6

        Co-sign.

  • Tommy S.

    Keep him in triple A all season, he always has good numbers down there. Then you can trade him in the off season for somebody better.

    • andrew

      I agree. I really don’t think Kennedy has a future with the Yankees unless there are a bunch of injuries this year. I think Hughes and Aceves are both better suited for an MLB start than Kennedy at the moment, so Kennedy probably wouldn’t be the 1st or 2nd guy called up if Burnett or somebody else goes down. I think Kennedy can defintely pass Aceves in the next year, but I’m not so sure about Hughes. I think he has much more value as a back end guy in the NL, I think he could trive in that role in a year or so. I’m hoping he can prove me wrong, but my gut feeling right now is that he posts his usual AAA numbers and the Yankees use him in a trade to an NL team, maybe somebody like Bengie Molina if Posada doesn’t hold up and the Giants are out of contention.
      Who knows.

      • Chip

        Would you have bet money on Ponson making that many starts for the Yankees last year? Having 4 guys in AAA that can hold their own at the ML level is very convenient

        • andrew

          I wouldn’t have bet money on that… but that’s what CC, AJ, and a healthy Wang and Joba are supposed to do. Having 4 guys in AAA that can hold their own is very convenient… but is it more convenient than having an above average starting CF or C? I don’t think so. I’m not denying that he’s useful, but its similar to the Cassell trade, if your guy is more useful to somebody else than he is to you, then it’s probably a good time to trade him. I think if he dominates AAA again and maybe has a successful start or two in the ML, there will be a couple teams that lack the pitching depth the Yankees have who would be willing to give up somebody decent for a package including Kennedy.

      • Mike Pop

        There is no way I would give up IPK for a Bengie Molina.

        • andrew

          I don’t think Molina is so crazy… you’d rather have the organization’s #8 starter than a #1 catcher? If Posada went down, we’d be making a trade that immediately improved our team without affecting much of the future at all. I really don’t see how Kennedy is going to fit in with the ML roster. Yes, for now it’s nice to have the depth. I agree that after last year it can’t hurt to have an extra pitcher or 3 or 4… but if having that #8 starter is the reason we don’t have an above avg catcher or centerfielder, then I wouldn’t be happy for the Yankees passing up the deal. Even if you wouldn’t want Molina, he was just a name off the top of my head… the rest of the points still hold true… I don’t see Kennedy ever being a valuable member of the ML roster but I could see him being useful on other teams.

          • Mike Pop

            But Molina is only under control for the rest of next year. I’d rather go Cervelli and Molina to be honest or make a trade for another catcher where we didn’t have to give up so much even if the improvement is not that huge. No thanks, I’d rather wait for Kennedy to “regain” his form and deal him for a higher value. He was once being talked about in deals for Teixeira and Santana. No way, would I deal him for a catcher like Bengie for a couple months. Especially with Tex in the lineup!

            • Tom Zig

              IPK + Melky for that guy in Minnesota with the side burns

  • Tommy S.

    this should be in italics and this should be bold

    • http://statspeak.net dan

      You should see a preview of your comments appear as you type them, below the text box.

  • Chip

    I really don’t know if he offers much trade value until he proves he can translate it into major league success. The convenient part about IPK is that he’s got plenty of option years left so there’s no rush with him. I think he’ll be a very fine back of the rotation starter in time and those guys still have very good value

    • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      I think that, in this market, he could fetch someone Garrett Atkins

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Garrett Atkins has gotten progressively worse each year. My friend who is a Rockies fan cannot grasp this.

        • Zack

          Even if Atkins hits .280 20hr for the next 5yrs, all he can get is Ian Kennedy?

          • Thomas

            Atkins doesn’t hit righties well, doesn’t hit well on the road, and can’t field. I’d prefer to keep Kennedy.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

              Never mind the fact that he’s a hazard to the health of himself and those around him in the field.

              • Tom Zig

                Why would we want Atkins, we have 1B and 3B covered very well. Unless you are using him as a bench player. If that is the case, why would you trade Kennedy for a bench player?

    • Tommy S.

      Problem is that the Yankees are gonna have CC, AJ, Wang, and Joba for a long time to come. I think Hughes will be better slated for the 5th starter in the future than IPK. Plus the Yankees have a ton talent in pitching down in the minor leagues anyway, IPK has lost his value to this team. Let IPK sit in triple A for the year and after the season ends get what you can for him.

  • Joe R

    HES A BUST~@!@$

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    Aaaaaaand John Kruk is harping on his B-Jobber argument…again, saying “How valuable can he be if you can skip him?” How can one person be this dumb? He is mentally incapable of any rational and analytical thought.

    • http://www.myspace.com/bayside Thirty5Thirty6

      Short Answer: Yes.

      Long Answer: Yes. He used to have a MULLET.

      • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of hippieness, but point well-taken.

        • http://www.myspace.com/bayside Thirty5Thirty6
        • GG

          are you saying you associate mullets with hippies?? I definitely don’t. I associate mullets with hics and sterotypical white trash

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      He also just says the Phillies “haven’t lost anyone.”

      Pat Burrell says hello.

      • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        But…but…but…John Kruk said it, so it MUST be true!

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          The worst part about his B-Jobber thing is that no one corrects him with his false assumptions or offers any of the many counter-points.

          • Stephen

            but what’s more important than teh 8th inning?!!?

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

              Nothing. Ever. In the history of forever.

              Another point that no one touches on when talking about Joba being more valuable as a reliever than a starter is that great starters get HUGE contracts, whereas great eighth inning guys gets peanuts compared to the starters.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          Oh my christ. He also just said that Damon being in the OF will hur the Yankees, despite the fact that aside from Carl Crawford, he was the best LF in all of baseball. And Karl Ravech actually called it a well thought out response. This is fucking ridiculous. WHY DOES THIS MAN HAVE A JOB?! WHY DO THE PRODUCERS NOT GIVE HIM ACCURATE INFORMATION? Christ almighty…I could do this man’s job 800 times better.

          • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

            The same reason Ann Coulter has a job: ratings.

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

              What exactly is her job?

              • Tom Zig

                Ann Coulter’s Job Description:

                Go on TV, say inappropriate things, yell a lot, and annoy people on both sides.

            • http://statspeak.net dan

              People really enjoy listening to John Kruk that much that he himself creates ratings?

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                I would really hope not.

                • Mike Pop

                  Well, he says that shit to get the attention of viewers like us. If he is saying the rational thing, the ratings won’t be as high and create as much discussion. It sucks we have to deal with him though.

              • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

                Well, the band of Phillips, Kruk, Ravech, etc. that spreads wrong information is the highest-rated baseball programming of its kind on TV

                • Mike Pop

                  Exactamundo.

            • GG

              Ann Coulter is intelligent, you may disagree with her but she is an accomplished and intelligent author. John Kruk is neither of those things and while I would agree that Coulter probablly helps generate good ratings, I don’t think havin Krukky on board helps ESPN’s or any networks bottom line in any way.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                For an “intelligent” person, she sure says a whole assload of incredibly stupid shit.

                Like that the New Deal was bad and that Joseph McCarthy was a great American and it’s a shame that that evil Senate censured him and stop him from his good work of exposing the Communists all around us.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            I also wish one of these guys would have the balls to ask Jeff Francouer if he was going to start taking walks this season.

            • Mike Pop

              I like Gammons saying John Smoltz will be the best pitcher in the AL East in September.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        So does JC Romero.

  • Rich

    I fall somewhere in the middle of the two camps. Trading him during this offseason would have been short-sighted because his value was likely at its lowest point. They already did that with Tabata, and that was a dumb decision that shouldn’t be repeated. So even if they ultimately end up trading Kennedy, they need to ensure that they have maximized his value first.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Am I the only one that’s getting pissed off by people freaking out because the Yankees have lost three games in a row…

    …in the first week of March!?

    Seriously, I mean, I’ve cried when the Yankees have lost before and even I know these games don’t matter beyond the point of getting the team healthy and in shape…

    • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com 6pound8ouncebabyjoba

      You are not haha. Its ridiculous that people would be getting nervous this early in the season. Its SPRING TRAINING for gods sake.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        Thank you…because right now LoHud may make me jump off a ledge…

        • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com 6pound8ouncebabyjoba

          what did lohud post about?

          • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

            Read the comments in the game thread and try to come back here with your sanity intact.

            • Rich

              Game threads are notoriously prone to exaggeration, to put it mildly, on every site, even during the regular season. Approach them at your own risk during ST.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Wait, are people really worried about losing three games in a row? In Spring Training? When just one of their projected starters made an appearance?

  • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com 6pound8ouncebabyjoba

    Ian Kennedy is going to be a solid pitcher for a long time. It takes a while to adjust to the MLB and the Yankees just need to let him do “his thing” and develop into the player that he was once projected to be.

    • GG

      That being said at least its nice to have the depth where if he can’t tone that swagger down while hes getting waxed we can ship him off to somewhere like SD where he can do “his thing”. I’m with you though, he can be a solid middle of the rotation guy in the AL and that says you have a lot of talent.

      • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com 6pound8ouncebabyjoba

        The swagger was only shown one time. The kid is only 24 years old, he made one mistake in front of the media. I don’t think its swagger that would allow for his departure from the Yankees organization.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Shut up with your logic. He should’ve co-won the Cy Young Award with Phil Hughes last year. Since they didn’t do that, they’re both ultra-busts who will amount to nothing. Ever!

      I think people just had incredibly lofty expectations for IPK. They way he was made out to be, you would think he was a future ace but in reality, I saw him projected as a #3 at best…which isn’t a bad thing.

      • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com 6pound8ouncebabyjoba

        Not at all. Having a solid #3 is a great thing.

  • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com 6pound8ouncebabyjoba

    For the record, Johan is hurt and we have CC, Hughes, IPK, and Melky all ready to contribute. How great is that? Good work Brian Cashman. Kudos to you.

  • http://www.myspace.com/sloanbruno69 Bruno

    Some success there could put him in the conversation for a 2010 rotation spot, or make him a valuable trade chip for the Yanks.

    Fixed.

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

      What’s the purpose and/or sound baseball rational for not allowing Ian Kennedy to compete for a rotation spot next year? If he can excel and win games at the MLB level as he has done at every other level of professional baseball, why would you trade him based upon nine bad starts in 2008? I think you’re resting this assumption on logic similar to Manimal’s, and I think that’s a flawed way to evaluate baseball.

      • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com 6pound8ouncebabyjoba

        I totally agree. In references to manimals first point, what serious attitude problems are you talking about. He slipped up one time!

      • http://www.myspace.com/sloanbruno69 Bruno

        I just think he’ll get outperformed for that #6 spot next year. I don’t have faith that he’ll survive in the AL Beast.

  • mustang

    It’s funny one good September and some minor league success and IPK was labeled part of the “Big Three”. Nine bad starts in 2008 and he is labeled a bust that must be traded. I would guess the answer is somewhere in the middle. However when people set the bar so high they shouldn’t be shocked by the negative response once the bar is not meant.
    I just hope that we earn our lesson from last year and if Melancon (I see the writing on the wall already) starts lighting it up in spring training we don’t pegged him to be the second coming of Mo.
    It’s nice to enthusiastic about young talent as long as it’s kept in the right perspective.

    • mustang

      learn not earn

  • Expired Milk

    They have to give him another shot at the big leagues which will make or break his Yankee career. If he excels I’m sure they will be more than happy to keep him around but if he flopsthen say goodbye.I dont see him getting another shot if he is abysmal.

  • MikeD

    The Yankees rushed IPK and put too much hope in a rotation of three rookies in ’08, a plan even they knew wouldn’t work, but it’s what they had last year. All three of the “big three” were pretty much yanked out of AA ball before they were ready, slowing their development. I include Joba in that list because if the Yankees had kept him in the AA rotation for all of ’07 and then had him start ’08 in AAA as a starter, and then called him up to the majors during the season, he’d be right on track for a 200-inning season in ’09. I’m not knocking the Yankees in Joba’s case, since clearly Joba was ready to get major league hitters out, but it did retard his inning count and development.

    As for IPK, it would be a shame if the Yankees traded him away before they really know what they have. He has been unhittable on every stop, missing tons of bats and posting impressive numbers. It would be surprising if he doesn’t translate into a #2 to #4 starter. Let’s figure out what that is before we turn him into the pitching equivalent of Jay Buhner.

    • mustang

      Although I’m too sure about that #2 part I agree with you.

      • mustang

        Although I’m not too sure about that #2 part I agree with you.

  • MikeD

    Mustang, agreed. I was going to say #3/4, which is probably more realistic. I could have also said #2 through #5. He doesn’t have #1 stuff, so I would eliminate that as an option, and a #2 is stretching it, but I can’t eliminate it. Trying to predict what makes a good #2, or why some guys become #5’s, or worse, is tough. Wang’s a good example. I’m not sure he was even predicted to be a #5.

    With CC, AJ and Joba, three of the slots are pretty much locked for the next few years. Wang is under Yankee control for at least a couple more years. Assuming no major injury, which is a big assumption, that leaves one potential opening. I figure this is Pettitte’s swang song and the Yankees are probably targeting Hughes for that opening in ’10, and if Andy ’09 pitches like Andy in late ’08, Hughes may be back full time sooner rather than later. I don’t think that’s going to happen, though, as I expect Pettitte to be more than capable of filling the #4 slot this year.

    Many seemed to have moved Aceves ahead of IPK. I have no idea why. I don’t think Aceves can make it as a starter in the majors. He might make a decent long man. Time will tell. It is nice to have far more options this year than last.

  • mustang

    “Many seemed to have moved Aceves ahead of IPK. I have no idea why. I don’t think Aceves can make it as a starter in the majors.”

    I agree with you on that too, but the “why” is easy same as IPK one good Sept. which seems to carry a lot weight with some people.
    What’s that old adage about spring training and september call-ups?

  • Greg

    I never want to see kennedy in pinstripes again.