I have a feeling there are some Royals fans out there who have no idea who Ian Kennedy is. Well, of course they know that he pitched well against the Twins and led the Royals to a 7-0 victory on Saturday, but that’s about all.
Ian Patrick Kennedy was born on December 19, 1984 in Huntington Beach, CA. Ian went to USC for college and made his MLB debut in 2007 with the New York Yankees. He also played for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres before coming to the Kansas City Royals on January 29th of this year. Kennedy signed a 5 year $70 million contract with the Royals. Kennedy throws two fast balls (four-seam and two-seam) sitting at 91-92 mph (tops out at 95-96), he also has a high 70’s knuckle-curve, a mid 80’s cutter and an above average Vulcan changeup.
In Ian Kennedy’s season debut for the Royals, he threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Twins. Kennedy struck out seven batters while allowing five hits. There was some concern about Kennedy and his hamstring issue from Spring Training, but he nipped those worries fairly quickly for the Royals faithful. On Saturday night, Kennedy said he exceeded his own expectations and threw his four seam fastball with precision over the plate. He out-pitched his old college teammate, Tommy Milone, as he made sure the night would require no late inning rallies like the game before.
The Royals offense helped Kennedy out too. Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain opened the scoring with back-to-back homers in the fourth inning. The Royals had two more runs in the fifth and Kendrys Morales ignited in the sixth with a solo homer over the right field fence tacking on 3 RBI.
In Kennedy’s last three seasons he has not posted an ERA higher than a league average. The nice thing about Kennedy is that pitching coach Dave Eiland has worked with him when they were both in New York so they know each other’s style. Kennedy was signed to bring stability into the starting rotation. Hopefully, the performance he showed on Saturday will last for the majority of the games he plays this season.
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