Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Friday, August 8th, 2008 at 9:44 pm and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Coming into this season the Yankees expected a lot out of Ian Kennedy and now after his early season let downs and DL stint they are asking for a lot again.

That’s because he’s taking the place of Joba Chamberlain and hoping to shore up a weak starting rotation. In fact if Kennedy can pitch half way decently down the stretch this season their playoff chances will look a lot better.

Kennedy was doing nearly the same thing at this time last year when he took the place of the then struggling Mike Mussina. At that point he filled in very nicely in three starts posting a 1-0 record with a 1.89 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, and a .191 batting average against.

He was so impressive in fact that the Yankees resisted trading him for Johan Santana during the off-season. A move which ultimately cost the Bombers the services of the veteran lefty.

This season has been a different story. Kennedy struggled with his command and often looked every bit the 23-year-old he is. Yankee manager Joe Girardi lost confidence in him and sent him down to the minors. He didn’t stay down long before being called up and was a little better until he suffered an injury and he has been down since.

Now the young pitcher must return to the 2007 version where he seemed calm on the mound and had the ability to throw all of his pitches for strikes. When the Yankees announced the move Girardi talked about the things Kennedy needs to do to have better luck this time around.

“Attacking the zone, being ahead in the count and using all his pitches,” Girardi said. “When he’s right, he’s living on the edges and throwing a lot of strikes. We need him to do that.”

Girardi also discussed what he things Kennedy did wrong last time around which caused him to struggle. He said there isn’t much of a difference between being good and losing your cool.

“When they’re balls, you’re nibbling, and when they’re strikes, you’ve got great control,” Girardi said. “It’s a fine line that a lot of pitchers walk in this game. Sometimes you’re just a fraction of an inch off, and all of a sudden, you’re nibbling.”

This time around the Yankees entire organization is hoping things are different, but they don’t expect him to come right out and pitch lights out. Improvement is what they hope and expect to see out of Kennedy.

“I expect him to come up and continue the little bit of a roll that he’s been on in Triple-A,” Girardi said. “I think he can pull from what he’s been doing down there. He’s been throwing the ball well.”

In nine appearances in triple-A this year Kennedy is 4-2 with a 2.14 ERA and 38 strike outs in 46.1 innings. He has done a decent job keeping the walks down as well as he has walked only 13 batters during that time span or about 56 walks over 200 innings.

There is currently one response to “Can Kennedy Make A Difference?”

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  1. 1 On August 9th, 2008, gozer said:

    Guess not. What a bum.

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