Will Ian Kennedy contribute in 2010?
On Wednesday, in a live chat over at FanHouse, Frankie Piliere, a former scout for the Texas Rangers, was asked about the Yankees’ Ian Kennedy, 24, who missed most of the 2009 season due to an aneurysm in his right arm. Kennedy had surgery in May to remove the aneurysm and ended up surprising everyone by rehabbing quickly enough to return to the Yankees and pitch a scoreless inning out of the bullpen against the Angels in September.
Here’s what Piliere had to say about IPK’s future with the team:
I think he’s more in the plans than Yankee fans like to believe. Just not sure why people so easily forget about this guy. I think he’ll be in the mix for the rotation in ST barring a spending spree on more pitching.
Kennedy is definitely a guy you want to root for given his impressive minor league career. In 248 2/3 innings pitched, he has a 1.95 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, and 273 strikeouts. As you can see, there’s a reason why teams have called Brian Cashman about the young Californian. IPK also participated in the Arizona Fall League this year and posted a 4.25 ERA over 29 2/3 innings (he struck out 28 and walked 5). Basically, he has been a dominant force in the minor leagues and, although he failed to prove himself as a starter in 2008, as Piliere suggests, the Yankees will likely provide Kennedy with opportunities to succeed in 2010. What those opportunities are have yet to be determined, however.
While the team could look at Kennedy as a rotation option “barring a spending spree”—he’s an unlikely option, but an option nonetheless—I wouldn’t be surprised to see them use him as a reliever in order to develop his confidence against big league hitters. This strategy seemed to work for Phil Hughes, at least until the postseason arrived.
In the end, I know many are down on Kennedy, however, I think he can be a contributor next season.
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