Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Pirates and Ian Kennedy?

Got this tidbit today from Ken Rosenthal:



This would make me happy. The Pirates are obviously not going to go out and get a guy like David Price nor were they ever players for a guy like Jeff Samardzija but the fact remains that they need pitching help. While guys like Vance Worley and Jeff Locke have kept things in check it surely wouldn't hurt for them to pick up an arm for the rotation. Francisco Liriano still has something to prove and Gerrit Cole has had a hard time staying healthy and consistent this season.

Brandon Cumpton has been pretty good but to be honest with you I am not sure that he is the type of guy I would really trust down the stretch run. That is just more of a gut feeling on my part but if you gave me a choice between Kennedy and Cumpton I think I would take Kennedy every time.

Kennedy really burst on to the scene back in 2011 when he headlined the Arizona staff into the playoffs with a 2.88 ERA over 222 innings. The last couple of years he has struggled a good bit but seems to be back on the track this year than he was in 2011.

Year Age Tm W L ERA GS IP H R HR BB SO FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9
2007 22 NYY 1 0 1.89 3 19.0 13 6 1 9 15 3.77 1.158 6.2 0.5 4.3 7.1
2008 23 NYY 0 4 8.17 9 39.2 50 37 5 26 27 5.45 1.916 11.3 1.1 5.9 6.1
2009 24 NYY 0 0 0.00 0 1.0 0 0 0 2 1 10.10 2.000 0.0 0.0 18.0 9.0
2010 25 ARI 9 10 3.80 32 194.0 163 87 26 70 168 4.33 1.201 7.6 1.2 3.2 7.8
2011 26 ARI 21 4 2.88 33 222.0 186 73 19 55 198 3.22 1.086 7.5 0.8 2.2 8.0
2012 27 ARI 15 12 4.02 33 208.1 216 101 28 55 187 4.04 1.301 9.3 1.2 2.4 8.1
2013 28 TOT 7 10 4.91 31 181.1 180 108 27 73 163 4.59 1.395 8.9 1.3 3.6 8.1
2013 28 ARI 3 8 5.23 21 124.0 128 79 18 48 108 4.60 1.419 9.3 1.3 3.5 7.8
2013 28 SDP 4 2 4.24 10 57.1 52 29 9 25 55 4.58 1.343 8.2 1.4 3.9 8.6
2014 29 SDP 7 9 3.62 21 129.1 120 53 10 37 137 2.98 1.214 8.4 0.7 2.6 9.5
8 Yrs 60 49 3.95 162 994.2 928 465 116 327 896 3.93 1.262 8.4 1.0 3.0 8.1
162 Game Avg. 13 10 3.95 34 207 194 97 24 68 187 3.93 1.262 8.4 1.0 3.0 8.1
ARI (4 yrs) 48 34 3.82 119 748.1 693 340 91 228 661 3.96 1.231 8.3 1.1 2.7 7.9
NYY (3 yrs) 1 4 6.03 12 59.2 63 43 6 37 43 4.99 1.676 9.5 0.9 5.6 6.5
SDP (2 yrs) 11 11 3.81 31 186.2 172 82 19 62 192 3.47 1.254 8.3 0.9 3.0 9.3
NL (5 yrs) 59 45 3.82 150 935.0 865 422 110 290 853 3.86 1.235 8.3 1.1 2.8 8.2
AL (3 yrs) 1 4 6.03 12 59.2 63 43 6 37 43 4.99 1.676 9.5 0.9 5.6 6.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/19/2014.

Currently Kennedy is striking out better than a batter per inning (9.53) which is well above his career average of 8.11 and he has got his HR/FB way down to 7.8% which is much lower than it was in 2012 (10.8%) and 2013 (13.2%) and nearly identical to his 2011 rate (7.7%).

His ERA is more than a full run lower than last year (3.62 this season) and has a 2.98 FIP and 3.24 xFIP. This is in part to getting a lot more ground balls (41.7%, highest of career) and having a line drive rate of 20.9% which is nearly 3% better than last season.

Kennedy rolls with a fastball, curveball, and change up and this season he is averaging nearly 92 mph on his fastball which is the highest of his career after averaging under 91 his entire career.

Kennedy isn't a staff ace but he would fit nicely in behind Cole and Morton and would give the Pirates a lot more depth. Granted, I am not sure what it might take to get Kennedy but he is also under team control through next season which is something that Huntington has always like to have when trading for a player. The Pirates haven't shied away from deals like this in the past and Neal Huntington has been able to improve the team at the deadline each of the past three deadlines. This would improve the team and hopefully this gains legs.

UPDATE: Tim over at Pirates Prospects tries to give some kind of idea as to what trade value might be and he also gives his thoughts.

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