Kennedy, on the mend, eyes winter ball


When Ian Kennedy went down with an aneurysm in late April, he had put together a very fine string of four AAA starts. Over 22.2 innings, he had a 1.59 ERA and had allowed just 18 hits and seven walks while striking out 25. Considering the state of the Yanks’ fifth starter, odds are good Kennedy would have gotten another shot at the Bronx. Today, Ken Davidoff checks in on Kennedy, and the right-hander is progressing nicely. He is already throwing on flat ground and seems to be ahead of schedule. While Brian Cashman does not expect Kennedy to be ready to pitch in New York this year, he told Davidoff: “It’s possible he’ll see minor league action though, and he’s a definite winter-ball candidate.”

Categories : Asides, Injuries
  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    That’s good, I think Kennedy (if not used in any trades) could be a very effective long reliever in the pen. He was off to such a great start this year in AAA.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I think he could have done what Sergio Mitre did the other night.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        Unless he was traded, of course.

        Is it possible to discuss IPK just once without the first post (and every other post after that) discussing IPK as trade bait? Haven’t we learned anything watching Hughes and Joba struggle the past few years? Namely, that you can get off to a bad start in your career and still be a REALLY good pitcher.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          So, what you’re saying is, Kennedy belongs in the bullpen?


          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist


      • RAB poster

        I disagree. Although that may just be because I NEVER thought Kennedy was that good.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I wonder if you’d feel the same way if Sergio Mitre came up through the Yankee system and put up a 6.86 ERA and 1.823 WHIP in his first 60.1 innings spread over his first two years in the bigs at age 22 and 23. Because that’s exactly what Mitre did for the Cubs in 2003-2004.

          You’d be surprised how much the beginnings of Mitre and Kennedy’s careers mirror each other.

          • RAB poster


            But I don’t think Kennedy’s stuff is that good.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              See below.

  • Tom Zig

    IPK smells redemption in 2010

    • Peter Lacock

      Add Wang and that’s good reinforcements for next season.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Mitre too. We’ve got his rights for 2010.

  • Salty Buggah

    I hope he reaches his ceiling and become a cost-controlled valubale starter for the big league club.

  • Andy

    Kennedy is terrible. He should have been traded when his value was high.

    • Steve O.

      This has to be sarcasm. Has to be.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I don’t think it is.

  • http://www.conservationvaluenotes.com Jon G

    I am rooting for IPK to come back strong and be there next year to do what Mitre did yesterday, if needed…

    I agree that the way he was pitching in April, I thought he’d be up here by now, and he may well have been.

    Here’s to wishing IPK a speedy and effective recovery, and a strong bid competing for a role on the MLB squad in 2010.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Is it possible that IPK could be an Aceves-like swingman next year to give the Yankees two multiple-innings guys out of the ‘pen? Maybe I’m being too hopeful, but if there’s no room in the rotation, I think IPK could be very valuable in that role.

      • Salty Buggah

        ooh if he can succeed like Ace, it would be an extremeley valuable duo and help for the pen. Im drooling just thinking about it.

      • RAB poster

        I think Ace is a better pitcher than Kennedy.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I do too. Because Ace is an older pitcher than Kennedy. When Kennedy’s as old as Ace, he may be just as good as him, or better.

          • RAB poster

            Possible. I doubt it.

  • thebusiness

    Kennedy will be the 6th starter next year.

    Kennedy/McAllister/Nova will make for solid rotational depth behind the top 5.


    Might be the best starting 5 in AAA next April.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      If Bleich or WLDR have a strong finish at Trenton this year, would either of them bump Igawa? I mean, Kennedy and Mitre have to be locks for the Scranton team since they’d be our 6th and 7th starters, but I wonder if we’re better served giving those last three spots to the young pitchers who have already mastered Trenton and need the next level of challenge.

      I mean, if Igawa is our super, super emergency starter, it doesn’t really matter whether he’s at Scranton or Trenton. If Z-Mac, Nova, and say WLDR are all pitching well, it may be worth it to put them at Scranton even if it bumps the Kei-Man down a peg.

      Which is why we should sell him back to Japan.

      • thebusiness

        I wish Igawa would be bumped but I doubt they’ll add to the embarrassment by sending him to AA. Maybe they’ll make him a reliever.. Say it with me

        1 more year
        1 more year

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Igawa’s signed through 2011.

          • RAB poster

            2 more years

            2 more years

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        I’ve always thought of WLDR as a MLB reliever, not sure whether the Yanks agree with me or not.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I do too, but I’d imagine that like damn near 90% of our current major league bullpen, he’ll spend all of his minor league career as a starter and only move to the bullpen with the big club.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    I’ve still go hope for IPK.

  • Manimal

    I’m confident he will return and shatter Igawa’s Career AAA win total.

  • Dorian

    Nobody dominates the Minors the way he did and just washes out as a Pro. Granted he was older but his statistics were actually better than Hughes while he was in the minors. NOT TO SAY HE WILL BE MADDUX OR ANYTHING CLOSE but as a reference I believe Maddux’s ERA was in the mid 5′s early in his career. I still believe in Ian a lot.

    Actually now that I looked it up. Greg Maddux had a 5.59 in his first 186 innings pitched. Let’s not give up on IPK just yet.

    • Salty Buggah

      Good points. No one is yet unless they’re insane.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Or, even if you don’t like the Maddux comp, just remember this:

      The majority of the early struggles of Kennedy, Hughes, and Chamberlain are all probably related to the same thing: All three of them were pitching in the majors at ages where most of their peers were still trying to master AA and AAA. I think all three of them will be much better pitchers at 25 than they were at 22.

      Talent is sometimes a double-edged sword: It allows you to master the simple things quicker, and thus, sometimes be overmatched by the hard things because you’re confronting them with immaturity.

      • RAB poster

        I just don’t think Kennedy’s stuff is that good.

        • pat

          Ian Kennedy is a timid version of Ace. Ace is Kennedy who is not afraid to throw strikes.

          • RAB poster

            I think Ace has better control and a better breaking ball.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              No, I don’t think any of Ace’s breaking balls are any better than Kennedy’s. Ace is effective even though he has no real plus pitches because he spots the ball well and throws multiple pitches to all corners and keeps hitters off balance, and he doesn’t walk guys.

              That’s the exact scouting report on Ian Kennedy, btw. Great control, multiple good pitches (but no putaway pitch), keeps guys off balance, doesn’t walk guys.

              His problem at the moment is he walks too many guys. Because he’s afraid to challenge them. Because he’s young.

              • Jose Coronado

                I like Ace’s breaking ball. I think it’s underrated.

                • RAB poster (perhaps soon to be known as Rocky Road Redemption)

                  Sorry, I’m Jose Coronado. The name came from an extended gag on the next page.

          • V

            And kids can learn how not to be afraid of throwing strikes. See: Hughes, Phil.

            • RAB poster (perhaps soon to be known as Rocky Road Redemption)

              Of course kids can learn how to throw strikes. But Hughes needs to do it out of the bullpen to convince me.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          But the historical record says Kennedy has been not just good, but unbelievably dominant at every level other than the bigs.

          It could be that his stuff isn’t that good, or it could be that he hasn’t adjusted yet to the bigs and that he’ll get better with more reps, like many other young pitchers with good pedigrees.

          Sergio Mitre, 2003-2004 (ages 22 and 23)
          15 games (2-5), 60.1 IP, 6.86 ERA, 1.823 WHIP, 6.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 12.8 H/9, 1.0 HR/9

          Ian Kennedy, 2007-2008 (ages 22 and 23)
          13 games (1-4), 58.2 IP, 6.14 ERA, 1.670 WHIP, 6.4 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, 9.7 H.9, 0.9 HR/9

          • RAB poster (perhaps soon to be known as Rocky Road Redemption)


            But watching him I didn’t like his stuff.

            If I’m wrong then we all go home happy and Kennedy becomes my new favorite player.

            • pat

              Word, well when all he’s doing is falling behind batters and getting smacked around it’s not hard to dislike the kid. JUS GIVE A BROTHA A CHANCE!

  • Joba-To-the-pen

    The idea that Kennedy will ever have a place in this rotation is as crazy as thinking HUghes and Joba will ever both be starters on this staff.

    These pitchers are good but none of our farm pitchers or young guys are ever gonna dominate like Verlander.

    • BobRVA


  • Accent Shallow

    I think Kennedy suffers from the association with Hughes/Chamberlain — his stuff isn’t nearly as good, nor is his ceiling as high.

    That doesn’t preclude him from being a successful major leaguer someday, thought.

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