Kennedy tosses from a mound, but ’09 return unlikely

The home run that shouldn't have been
Jeter mum on next deal

As Chien-Ming Wang has struggled and Phil Hughes has landed in the bullpen, the Yanks have struggled to find an adequate fifth starter. While I’m not too thrilled at the prospects of another Sergio Mitre start, the Yanks sound as though they are heading down that path. One pitcher — Ian Kennedy — never had his chance this year. Prior to coming down with an aneurysm, Kennedy was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts for AAA Scranton. He had a 25:7 K:BB ratio in 22.2 innings and would have had ample opportunity to earn that fifth starter role had injury not struck.

Today, we hear that Kennedy has thrown 25 pitches from a mound for the first time since April and will do so again on Friday. The 24-year-old wants to pitch in a Minor League game before the season ends on Sept. 7. Ticketed to winter ball, Kennedy unfortunately won’t make it back to the Bronx this year but should be in the picture come 2010. (Thanks to all who sent a tip about Kennedy to us. Keep on using that contact form.)

The home run that shouldn't have been
Jeter mum on next deal
  • Salty Buggah

    That’s good news. I would have really liked him here instead of Mitre but what can you do. Hopefully, he can contribute next year.

    • Dela G


  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    2010 second half #5!

    Need three more to step up just on case…

  • mike HC

    There was some criticism that Kennedy was a bit too cocky and thought everything was just going to come to him when he last got called up to the big leagues (I have no idea if that is true or not, but at least some people thought so). Maybe this aneurysm will be a blessing in disguise for him. Maybe he realized how tenuous a professional’s athletes career really is. I have a feeling this will help him in the long run.

    • Klemy

      “Whatever aneurysm doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” theory. It may hold water.

  • Matt ACTY/BBD

    I’m all for a whole big fat open competition for the fifth starter spot for ’10 which includes IPK.

  • cr1

    If it is true that he was too cocky, that’s probably over. What about being injury prone? Is that a problem, or has he just had some bad luck?

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      I’d say aneurysm is probably just some bad luck.

      • A.D.

        Exactly, its a freak thing, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

        The other injuries, sore shoulder to end his 1st full season, and a strained rib cage aren’t anything major, at least right now I wouldn’t have any concerns of him really being injury prone.

  • jsbrendog

    realistically i think we need to temper our expectations for kennedy. Do I want him to make it? yes. Does he have the stuff to make it? sure.

    The only thing that I can’t help but dwell on is the small percentage of prospects that actually do make it. I mean, out of 3 stud prospects like joba/phil/ipk usually you’re lucky if one makes it.

    could we really be that lucky to have all 3 make it? i’m skeptical…hopefully i am proven wrong but i cant shake the feeling.

    in the end i hope it ends up as the anti generation k. all three of them make it. however, i still see pulsipher/wilson/isringhausen and can’t help but doubt kennedy.

    • whozat

      Define “make it”

      If he can get healthy, I think he could be a solid back-end starter for at least a couple years. Is that unreasonable?

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Or they can do what they’ve been doing with young starters and putting them in the bullpen. He’d probably be good there.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Let’s face it, almost all good starters and a good amount of bad ones do fine in the bullpen.

    • Bo

      The odds of all 3 making it were very small. Kennedy is the one with the least amount of stuff so the odds were def not in his favor. He strikes me as someone who would succeed nicely in the NL.

      But they cant be compared to Gen K. Those guys werent as talented first of all. Second they were burnt out because of the terrible care the Mets did with them. If anything these guys have been baby’d.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Wasn’t Isringhausen a decent closer for awhile? His career wasn’t a total disaster.

        • jsbrendog

          wilson was a decent reliever for ahwile too. but yes, izzy was the only one to have an even remotely successufl career.

          what’s funny is it seems izzy and wilson each had a 100 or so innings jump from one year to the next so they were overworked.

          pulsipher only had a 60+ jump one year but he just couldnt put it together

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Damn it. Now I’m gonna have to go to Tampa early Friday morning.

  • Bo

    I’d much rather see Kennedy every 5th day than Mitre.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Yeah I’m pretty sure everyone else here would too. I wouldn’t give Mitre yet however but I don’t like in the fifth spot.

    • jsbrendog

      Ian Kennedy:

      IP 58.2
      career 6.14 ERA
      6.4 k/9
      1.67 whip
      1.18 k/bb

      born december 84 so he is currently 24.

      Sergio Mitre (as starter only):
      IP 305
      career 5.34 ERA
      5.3 k/9
      1.561 whip

      born 1981. only 3 years older than kennedy.

      small sample size me or whatever you want, but at this point it’s basically no difference.
      1.84 k/bb

      • Rob in CT

        What was Sergio’s minor league track record? IPK destroyed the minors, which suggests (not proves, suggests) that he has some upside beyond his 6+ ERA in 58 ML innings.

        I don’t think he’s likely to be much more than a 5th starter, but it’s possible that he might. He needs to walk fewer guys. With his stuff, he can’t be walking 4 guys per 9. It’s possible, though, than he can work that out. Given his great minor league track record and youth, that is. Mitre is what he is – I don’t see upside there. Therefore, IPK > Mitre, even though Mitre’s career line is actually less craptastic.

        • jsbrendog

          mitre minors:
          3.09 era
          643 IP
          1.232 whip
          3.17 so/bb

          kennedy minors:
          249 IP
          1.95 era
          .985 whip
          3.55 so/bb

          yeah. i guess.

          • Short Porch

            what of home/road splits since we are getting all granular? I think the Yanks A AA and AAA have been pitchers parks, correct?

      • Klemy

        Career-wise, yeah they aren’t totally different. Looking at his 5 starts this year though, Mitre is expectedly worse then his career numbers. Obviously that should improve with time.

        Yeah, given his surgery, it’s expected. Yeah, we can give him more time. I’d just rather it be from the bullpen this season and open him up again in the Spring.

        I’m hoping Kennedy comes back for another chance next season is all. I’m rooting for him to get turned in the right direction.

        • whozat

          I tend to agree with this. Just looking at Mitre’s stuff, that sinker has absurd movement on it. There’s gotta be a way to get value out of that, even if it’s turning him into a reliever.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            I say start Ace and make Mitre a reliever.

          • Thomas

            I have to throw this out there, since every keeps saying Mitre should be put into the pen.

            Sergio Mitre
            Starter 5.34 ERA, 1.561 WHIP, 5.3 K/9, 1.84 K/BB, 305 IP in 57 games
            Reliever 6.91 ERA, 1.674 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, 1.47 K/BB, 28.2 IP in 26 games

            I realize small sample size, but so far the fact in his career Mitre has been worse in bullpen as setup man than he has been as a starter.

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              VERY small sample size. Too small.

      • TheLastClown

        You really have a sinking feeling about IPK don’t you?

        I don’t think he’s going to show the promise that we’re seeing out of Joba/Hughes, but lets not forget the *albeit small sample* flashes of dominance he showed in the bigs in late ’07.

        Had he not been shut down then, Yankees might win Game 4 in Cleveland, and the IPK saga may look different.

        Anyway, we’re not talking Ridiculous Upside, but I’m not sure that Mitre has any upside at all, and there’s definitely some left with Mr. Kennedy.

        • mike HC

          Is it irrational for me to think he will all of a sudden be throwing low 90’s next time the big League club sees him. I mean, Hughes was throwing upper 80’s last year, and was at 90-93 as a starter earlier this year. Joba’s velocity went from about 94+ even as a starter last year and this year is down a couple of MPH. It seems like even the velocity can improve or jump around with young pitchers. Maybe Kennedy will be pitching faster too. (I don’t know what mph he was hitting this year in the minor before the injury).

  • Reggie C.

    I’ll try to stay on topic this time around. Dang Treo Pro.

    Kennedy’s essentially lost a year of ML development. Its not as bad as Heredia losing 3/4 of the season since Kennedy is a near-finished product. I just hope Kennedy is able to throw incident free and then impress brass in winter ball with gaudy K number off over-the-hill Puerto Ricans.

    • jsbrendog

      jose reyes is going to play there?

      ba dum bum

      (of course he is probably dominican since i took it here)

      • jsbrendog

        and he is. go me. lame.

        • Matt ACTY/BBD

          Tsk tsk.

  • Andy

    Why can’t Kennedy pitch in the Bronx this year? If he can pitch in the minors by September 7, why not get the call after rosters expand? He’s already on the 40 man. At the very least, he could get work in, and be around the big league club.