Monday, January 16, 2012

The Ghost of Ian Kennedy

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The New York Yankees have received a lot of praise and criticism for their recent trade which sent potential hitting star and fan favorite Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners for their talented young pitcher Michael Pineda.

Some say the trade was good because it gives the Yankees a solid #2 starter behind ace CC Sabathia. Others say giving up the young and promising catcher with the potential superstar swing was just too much. I agree with the latter.

What some in the Yankee universe don't realize is that a prior blunder caused the Yankees to trade the young prodigy. Had the Yankees shown patience with (the now) Arizona Diamondbacks ace and 20-game winner Ian Kennedy, this trade would never have happened. Kennedy, himself, would have been the elusive #2 starter which the Yankees so desperately need. And for those who said Kennedy couldn't handle the pressure of playing in New York-- how can we ever know that?-- he only appeared in 14 games and made 12 starts for the Yankees in 3 seasons. If that's the definition of patience then the Yankees have their own dictionary. And besides, who's to say the young Pineda will handle the pressure of being the #2 starter in a relentless win-now town who was enamored with Montero? If Montero flourishes in Seattle and Pineda struggles, I can see the young Dominican having a rough go of it. It's no secret that Yankee fans have a take-no-prisoners attitude, just ask A.J. Burnett.

Only time will tell which team got the better of the trade or if it benefits both teams. Pineda (9-10, 173 K, 3.74 ERA) is a promising young pitcher but with only one season under his belt, the jury is still out on his consistency. The same goes for Montero but there's no doubt that Yankee fans were excited about the highly-touted kid and many were left bitter when they heard the news that he was no longer in pinstripes.

....And it all gravitates back to the impatience the Yankees had with Kennedy (21-4, 198 K, 55 BB, 2.88 ERA, 1.09 WHIP for the Diamondbacks). There is no doubt in my mind about that!

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