Results tagged ‘ Ian Kennedy ’

Angels and Padres among those teams intersted in Kennedy

ST. PETERSBURGH — You can count the Angels and Padres among the teams interested in D-backs right-hander Ian Kennedy according to a baseball source.

Kennedy is scheduled to start tonight’s game against the Rays and how serious the trade talks are involving him could become clear as he would be scratched if something were imminent.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Cubs could also be a possible destination for Kennedy.

Both the Angels and Padres have people in their organization who have a history with Kennedy. Padres GM Josh Byrnes traded for Kennedy when he was GM of the D-backs and Angels GM Jerry Dipoto was interim GM of the D-backs during Kennedy’s time there and was assistant GM in Arizona when Kennedy won 21 games in 2011.

– Steve Gilbert

Thoughts from Maryvale

The D-backs won a pair of games today, 4-3 over the Royals in Surprise and 11-3 over the Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Can’t speak to what happened against the Royals, but here are a couple of things that came out of the game in Maryvale:

– Ian Kennedy is ready for the season to start.

The right-hander was impressive once again holding Milwaukee to a pair of runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings.

“Kennedy was good,” D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. “He got better this spring from the first outing to the last.”

– It’s going to be hard to keep Jordan Norberto off this team.

I know, I know I thought as recently as the last few days that the team would almost have to start Norberto in the Minor Leagues to give him some additional experience. But the fact is he has outpitched the other competitors for a spot in the bullpen.

After missing a few days with some tightness in his elbow, he tossed a 1-2-3 inning against the Brewers. His ERA for the spring is 1.04.

“He didn’t miss a beat,” Hinch said. “We shut him down for a couple of days from pitching and he hit 96 on the radar gun so he looked fine to me. He’s very much in the mix.”

Clay Zavada will pitch Friday against the Cubs at Chase Field, but regardless, Norberto has really helped himself recently.

– Rusty Ryal certainly has made a case for himself.

Ryal was a triple away from hitting for the cycle Thursday and he raised his spring batting average to .288.

How the last two spots play out on the bench between Ryal, Tony Abreu and Ryan Roberts will be very interesting.

“He’s continuing to push to the end,” Hinch said of Ryal. “It’s a pretty heated battle there for the position players. Nobody is going to give on this one. We’ll just have to pull the trigger and make a decision.

Said Ryal, “It’s one of those things where you have no control over your situation you just have to do what you do and stay positive. I hope today wasn’t just the convincing factor in any sort of manner because I’ve put a lot of hard work in this spring extra that people don’t see. To be real honest with you I feel like I’ve done all that I can do as far as off the field stuff. My performance, it’s an opinion, it’s a decision they have to make. Today’s a positive, mark it down as a positive and go from there.”

– Hinch would like to see the offense pick it up.

Recently the D-backs struggled a little scoring runs after swinging the bats well earlier in camp.

“I’d like to be swinging the bats a little better heading into the season, but we’ll see,” Hinch said before they scored 11 against the Brewers. “Towards the end of spring, I don’t know if it’s a mental problem, or are we facing better pitchers, but on the optimistic side is we’re going to show up and be ready to go. Collectively as a group I’ve been happy with how we’ve swung the bats this spring. With where guys are individually heading into the season there’s a couple of guys I wish that were swinging the bats better, but there’s also the middle of our order has swung the bat very well.”

– OK, I lied. I’ll make one comment about the game in Surprise: You have to feel for Jeff Bailey.

The first baseman/outfielder came to camp mentioned as being on the outside of the competition for the final spot or two on the bench. He was told the other day that he was not going to make the club.

Thursday against the Royals, he was 3-for-3 to raise his average to .471.

D-backs hoping Mother Nature lets them play

The D-backs may have to battle Mother Nature on Thursday in addition to the Royals and Brewers.

Rain is forecast for the Valley throughout the day.

“What a terrible day for that too, we’re going to be all spread out all over the Valley,” D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. “We’ve completely changed their workout across the street, Minor Leagues, and taken a lot of players for our benefit. Split squad late in the spring isn’t my favorite anyway.”

Edwin Jackson is slated to start against the Royals in Surprise, while Ian Kennedy is scheduled against the Brewers in Maryvale.

It’s important that Jackson in particular gets his work in. The right-hander is supposed to start Tuesday against the Padres so for him to stay on his regular turn he would need to throw Thursday.

Jackson’s regular turn would have been Wednesday, but Hinch did not want to give the Rockies an extra look at him so he was pushed to Thursday.

It is somewhat less urgent that Kennedy pitch, because he has an extra day built in to his schedule so he could pitch Friday and still be on regular rest for his first start of the regular season Wednesday.

“I’d like to keep Kennedy going,” Hinch said. “He’s on a roll. I’d like Jackson to get up to seven innings.”

There is a team function Thursday night at Chase Field so the field is not available to use for a simulated game either.

NORBERTO GOOD TO GO: Jordan Norberto played catch Wednesday and Hinch said he will pitch Thursday. The left-hander has been held out of action recently with tightness in his elbow.

SPEAKING OF NORBERTO: It looks like it could come down to he and Clay Zavada for a spot in the bullpen and Zavada did not help his case by walking the first batter he faced — to force in a run — Wednesday.

“He hasn’t had a good spring,” Hinch said. “He’s giving all he’s got, he’s trying, he wants to make this club, he’s coming off a very good year and he’s having a rough spring. It will down to the wire for all these decisions. He’s very much in the mix to make a team, but also guys are challenging for his roster spot so we’ll see on Saturday.”

Daily D-backs Wrap: March 27

Don’t forget for up-to-the-minute news and information, you can follow me on Twitter

TODAY’S STORIES

Despite struggles at the plate, Miguel Montero remains confident
D-backs lose a pitcher’s duel to the Indians
Kennedy claims spot in rotation

CONGRATS TO KENNEDY: Ian Kennedy was told following Saturday’s game with the Indians that he had made the team.

Not a real surprise given not only the fact that they traded for him, but also because he’s pitched very well this spring.

About the only question is how many innings the D-backs will be able to get from someone who missed most of last season. It would not be surprising to see the team give him an extra day of rest here and there to try and keep that innings total down.

RIGHTING THE SHIP: While the day’s news belonged to Kennedy, the pitcher who may have helped himself out the most Saturday was reliever Clay Zavada, who has struggled throughout the spring.

The D-backs would really like to have a lefty in their bullpen and they are certainly tempted by the potential of Jordan Norberto, who has pitched better than anyone not named Juan Gutierrez this spring. The issue is the lack of experience for Norberto, but again he’s been so good that it’s not completely out of the question that he makes the team.

Anyway, Zavada had a much-needed 1-2-3 inning against the Indians.

“I’ve been battling,” Zavada said. “I’ve been working to get my tempo back and I’m starting to see better results. It’s been a bumpy road, it’s been tough. I’ve been working hard and I’m going to keep working hard.”

“It’s amazing what a clean inning can do for confidence,” Hinch said. “I think it was a good outing for him, for us.”

NOT SO GOOD NEWS: A.J. Pollock, the second of two first-round picks the D-backs in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft underwent surgery to repair a fractured elbow Friday.

The center fielder suffered the injury when he attempted to make a sliding catch during a Minor League game last week.

GM Josh Byrnes said Pollock could be out around two to three months.

“I’m glad he signed early and had a full summer last year and we’ll get him out there and then conceivably in the [Arizona] Fall League,” Byrnes said.

Signed out of the University of Notre Dame, Pollock is a polished player, who hit .271 last year at Class A South Bend and was expected to begin the 2010 season at high-A Visalia.

TUCSON APPRECIATION DAY: Sunday will be Tucson Appreciation Day when the D-backs play host to the Brewers. The festivities will commemorate the organization’s 13 years of Spring Training in Southern Arizona. All fans in attendance will receive a pennant honoring the D-backs’ Spring Training in Tucson.

It will be an important day for Lopez, who will get another chance to claim the No. 4 spot in the rotation. The D-backs will face left-hander Doug Davis, who pitched for them from 2007-09 before departing via free agency.

D-backs Daily: March 22

Don’t forget for up-to-the-minute news and information, you can follow me on Twitter.

TODAY’S STORIES

D-backs rally to beat the Padres in 10 innings
Brandon Allen keeps it all in perspective

NOTES AND OPINIONS

MUCH BETTER: Ian Kennedy was impressive against the Padres, allowing just two hits while throwing five scoreless innings.

Kennedy is not known as a strikeout pitcher, but he managed to fan eight without walking a batter. Throwing strikes was something he wanted to accomplish and he did that and then some.

“I just wanted to pound the zone early on,” he said. “Worked really well with Chris Snyder today. He called a great game.”

The D-backs had to be pleased to see Kennedy bounce back after struggling against the Angels in his previous outing last week.

“The outing in Tempe I just kind of took it as a bad day,” Kennedy said. “I tried to learn from it and move on.”

I don’t think there was much question that Kennedy was going to be part of the team’s rotation, but if there was, I would think that there is no longer any doubt that will be.

“Ian was really, really good,” Hinch said. “He had good rhythm, he had good command he had swing and miss type stuff. A great outing. He hasn’t pitched poorly but he hadn’t pitched a clean game.”

He sure did Monday.

NOT AS GOOD: The day did not go as well for pitchers Jordan Norberto and Esmerling Vasquez.

Norberto came into the game having not allowed a run in six innings, but he struggled with his command and walked three and allowed a hit in lasting just two-thirds of an inning. He allowed one run, which he forced in when he gave Yorvit Torrealba a free pass with the bases loaded.

“It was good to see him under a little duress,” Hinch said.

While there had been some talk of Norberto making the team out of Spring Training, I always got the impression that the organization wanted him to get a little more Minor League seasoning. After all, he has made just 16 appearances at the Double-A level.

I still think he will start the year in the Minor Leagues, though it’s not out of the question they could decide to keep him. He’s certainly been extremely impressive. Regardless if he pitches like he did early in camp, expect to see him at Chase Field at some point this year.

Vasquez, who had shown improvement in his past few outings got out of the bases loaded jam in the seventh, but got himself into trouble with walks as well. The right-hander walked three and gave up a pair of runs.

SPEAKING OF THE ROSTER: Hinch said Monday that he is likely to carry 12 pitchers to start the year with eight of them being relievers.

If you figure that four of those spot are locked up by Chad Qualls, Bob Howry, Juan Gutierrez, Aaron Heilman and the fifth is all but taken by Blaine Boyer than it leaves you with three spots open.

I have to think that at this moment, Leo Rosales is a front runner for one. The right-hander has pitched well for the most part this spring and he’s out of Minor League options.

That leaves a couple of spots and a number of different options with Vasquez, Clay Zavada, Norberto and Zach Kroenke still in the mix.

We’ll see how the last two weeks play out.

WEBB UPDATE: Nothing really new here. Webb played catch again Monday. Hinch said they are being extra cautious in building his arm strength so that he doesn’t plateau like he did earlier this month.

While they don’t want to put a timeframe on him, it certainly seems like 30 days is the minimum it would take for him to be ready after getting back on the mound. So if late-April is going to be realistic, he will need to take a step forward soon.

DOUBLING UP: The D-backs grounded into five double plays wiping out numerous scoring opportunities.

“I could have done without all the double plays,” Hinch said.

Tuesday’s off day could not come at a better time for the D-backs, who seem ready for a break.

AT THE TOP: Conor Jackson hit at the top of the order for the second day in a row and you get the feeling that Hinch is really warming to the idea of hitting him there to start the season.

It’s really an excellent idea given that it plays to Jackson’s strength (getting on base, working counts) and the team truly doesn’t have a prototypical option there.

GOING UPTOWN: I’m late to the party on this, I know, but have you seen what the organization has planned for the right-field bleachers this year?

TAKING OFF: Tuesday will be an off day for the D-backs so this blog will be dark for the day, but will be back up and running from Glendale on Wednesday.

D-backs Wrapup: Kennedy, Lineups and Lee

Here’s your Wednesday recap…

Don’t forget for up-to-the-minute news and information, you can follow me on Twitter. http://twitter.com/dbackswriter

Stories

RHP Brandon Webb is shooting for late-April return.
The signing of RHP Kris Benson is now official.

ROUGH ONE: For the second straight day, a D-backs starting pitcher had trouble getting a feel for his pitches.

Tuesday, it was Edwin Jackson and Wednesday it was Ian Kennedy’s turn.

The right-hander allowed four runs on seven hits over 3 1/3 innings of work against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

“I felt all over the place,” Kennedy said. “My fastball command wasn’t nearly what I wanted it to be. It’d feel like one pitch would be there and the next pitch I would try to repeat it and it’s up and away or I’d pull it in the dirt. It’s frustrating because I always want to do well. It’s Spring Training, but still I want to perform. It’s just one of those starts where I felt like I couldn’t repeat the same pitch I had before.”

Kennedy did not allow a run in his first two starts of the spring, but Wednesday he seemed to be behind on a majority of the hitters.

“That’s another thing I’m frustrated about,” he said. “I put them in hitter’s counts almost every time. When I was ahead I got it to even. It was 0-1 then it was 1-1 or I’d get a 1-2 and then I’d go to 2-2. You can’t pitch late in games throwing that many pitches every time. I physically feel good. That’s the frustrating part. You feel good and then I feel like I can’t repeat the same pitch so that’s what’s frustrating.”

LINING UP: The starting lineup for the D-backs on Wednesday — Drew (ss), Jackson (lf), Upton (rf), LaRoche (1b), Reynolds (3b), Montero (c), Johnson (2b) and Young (cf) — included every player you would expect to be in there on Opening Day.

As for the batting order…well, that remains a work in progress.

One thing seems certain and that is that manager A.J. Hinch likes the combination of Upton, LaRoche and Reynolds in the 3-4-5 spots.

Another thing that seems likely is Jackson in the No. 2 hole given his plate discipline and on-base abilities.

Leadoff hitter? Stay tuned.

“Kelly and Stephen and CY could all conceivable hit near the top or the bottom of our lineup,” Hinch said. “It’s a good problem to have. We have the makings of an offense that could be pretty fluid throughout the order.”

So if Jackson is second, Upton third, LaRoche fourth, Reynolds fifth and Montero sixth that means that two of the three candidates to hit leadoff would end up in the seventh and eighth spots in the order.

While the order will change during the season, Hinch will try to keep it consistent.

“I don’t want to get into a routine of flipping the lineup all the time,” he said. “I do like the idea of having the guys understand their roles and understand where it is. At the top of the order, I want the guys to be the table-setters for the middle of the order. It could change over time. I look at it a different way that with so many options it’s an advantage for us.”

NOT MUCH: The D-backs did not have much reaction to the news that Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee had been suspended for five regular season games for throwing over the head of Chris Snyder on Monday in Tucson.

“We don’t have them on our schedule,” Snyder said. “The only time we would see them is if we both make it in October and by then I’m sure that suspension will be over with.”

So did Snyder think it was deserved?

“That’s not my call,” he said. “MLB made the call on it. That’s it.”

How about you Hinch, what do you think about it?

“Nothing for me to comment on,” Hinch said. “It’s MLB’s business and the Mariners business.”

QUICK HITTER: Upton continues to hit the ball with authority this spring. He picked up another pair of hits Wednesday and Hinch said he looks to be in a “good rhythm” at the plate. …

Mark Reynolds hit his first homer of the spring in the sixth inning.

“He’s been inching forward in his contact,” Hinch said. …

With Brandon Webb starting the year on the disabled list there are two spots in the rotation up for grabs for Billy Buckner, Rodrigo Lopez, Kevin Mulvey (and maybe) Kris Benson.

If camp ended today it would not be a surprise to see Kennedy in the third spot and Buckner No. 4. The D-backs could then wait until April 17 before needing to carry a fifth starter.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that Buckner and Kennedy have a leg up,” Hinch said. “But I wouldn’t count Lopez and Mulvey out by any means.”

Saturday’s wrapup on the D-backs

Don’t forget for up-to-the-minute news and information, you can follow me on Twitter.

TODAY’S STORIES:

Chris Snyder feels he has something to prove this year.
D-backs beat the Dodgers, 7-3, in front of a sellout crowd at TEP.
Walks hurt RHP Kevin Mulvey on Saturday.

CLOSE CALL: The competition for the final spot on the bench is starting to really heat up for the D-backs.

“It’s nice when the plot thickens a little bit,” D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. “We still have a lot of time left so there’s plenty of time for further evaluation, but to have them playing crisply is good to see.”

Tony Abreu, Jeff Bailey, Cole Gillespie and Rusty Ryal have all impressed in various ways. At the start of camp it looked like Abreu and Ryal would be the main the combatants given that the team probably would not want to carry five outfielders (Gillespie) or a another first baseman (Bailey).

It’s still doubtful that they will carry someone whose primary position is first base, but Gillespie may make them reconsider carrying five outfielders.

“It’s interesting how guys can change your mind or push to make rosters,” Hinch said. “I think with our roster and the flexibility we have it’s not inconceivable that we wouldn’t carry five outfielders. Gillespie is making a great impression.”

Acquired in the deal that sent Felipe Lopez to Milwaukee last July, Gillespie has hit the ball well — he tripled in his one at-bat Saturday to raise his average to raise his spring average to .316. In addition he’s shown that he can play all three outfield positions rather than just the corners, which adds to his value.

Abreu and Ryal have both played extremely well. Saturday it was a back and forth between the two with Abreu, who is hitting .478, tripling home a pair of runs in the fifth and Ryal coming back with a homer one inning later.

Ryal, who raised his average to .250 with a pair of homers, also made a nice diving stop at third and has shown he can play second, first and left field as well.

“Ryal’s diving play at third was nice to see,” Hinch said.

Abreu has already proved he could play second, short and third this spring.

“Abreu continues to impress at short,” Hinch said.

There’s still three weeks left and it will likely come down to what skill set Hinch wants in that final spot. Does he want a versatile middle infielder like Abreu? Or with Augie Ojeda already filling that role does Hinch want someone with a little more pop in his bat like Ryal? Or does Gillespie play so well that he forces them to carry a fifth outfielder?

Stay tuned. This could get real interesting.

WEBB UPDATE: Brandon Webb played catch again Saturday and there seems to be some encouragement building in him as well as Arizona officials.

“He feels great,” Hinch said. “I think the three or four day blow that we gave him was what he needed. He’s showing some more life in his arm. The good thing is he’s progressing at a more accelerated pace.”

Webb threw a few breaking balls, something Hinch took as a very positive sign though there is still no timetable for him to get into a Cactus League game.

“Hopefully sometime in the next week I’d certainly would hope to get him back up on the mound and get him back on his program of bullpens and whatever’s next,” Hinch said.

And let’s stop waiting for the D-backs to come out and say he’s going to start the season on the disabled list — Hinch gets asked that question every day — and just accept that he will not be making the start the third day of the season as originally hoped.

The D-backs will not need a fifth starter until April 17 so it will be interesting to see whether they decide to just carry four starters until then and if Webb could possibly be ready for that start.

“If he’s not going to make the third start of the season when is that next start going to come?” Hinch said. “I don’t know. But what I do know is as soon as he’s ready we want him in our rotation. But until then we’re going to compete and expect to win so when he does get back he’s a great addition to our team.

NO PLAYING GAMES WITH KENNEDY: With Ian Kennedy only throwing 23 2/3 innings during the regular season last year — plus another 29 2/3 in the Arizona Fall League — Hinch was asked Saturday if the team might delay the start of Kennedy’s season a little to help keep his inning total down.

“We won’t be interested in delaying the start of his season on purpose,” he said.

Instead, the team will monitor him throughout the season and if necessary give him an extra day here and there. Hinch, though, said the team expects between 160-180 innings from Kennedy, typically what a No. 4 or 5 starter throws.

TITLES: Hinch does not want to say yet whether Bob Howry or Juan Gutierrez will be the primary setup man to closer Chad Qualls.

“It’s a little early to worry about that yet,” Hinch said. “[Gutierrez] will pitch in important innings, though, that’s how I would title it.”

BACK: Outfielder Chris Young, who left the team for a few days due to a death in his family, was back in the lineup Saturday.

Friday wrap: Montero saves Zavada’s outing

Don’t forget for up-to-the-minute news and information, you can follow me on Twitter.

TODAY’S ONLINE STORIES: Remember when the Jose Valverde trade to the Astros looked like a winner for Houston? How is it looking today?

The D-backs beat the A’s today.

The D-backs worked out free agent pitcher Kris Benson at their Minor League complex.

NARROW ESCAPE: Left-hander Clay Zavada had his best outing thus far tossing a scoreless inning. The left-hander walked the leadoff batter in the fourth, but got a double play ball and struck out Travis Buck to end the frame.

It’s been a challenging spring for Zavada, who is trying to work on his curveball to give himself another weapon against lefties while at the same time impressing the staff enough to win one of the final two spots in the bullpen.

It seems in his first two appearances this spring, Zavada was too quick to the plate, which threw off his mechanics and control.

According to Zavada, it was catcher Miguel Montero that got him back on track after the walk Friday.

“The first guy I just felt uncomfortable, but then Miggy came out and basically just calmed me down and said you’re not helping yourself here by trying to think because that’s not my thing,” Zavada said. “That was good coaching on his part. Miggy helped me out a lot. No doubt in my mind it would have been a bad outing if he hadn’t come out and said something to me. It was a positive outing and it could have been ugly.”

It seems he’s starting to get the feel for the breaking ball again.

“I threw a couple of good breaking balls,” Zavada said. “They weren’t way out there, they weren’t hitting the guy, they were down in the zone with good bend and I was real confident behind it, which helps. I wasn’t throwing it with confidence, that was my main thing and today I was.”

Hinch reminded Zavada after his outing not to put too much pressure on himself to be perfect

WORKING HARD: Ian Kennedy had a nice outing against the A’s, but it wasn’t easy.

The right-hander held the A’s to one hit and one walk over three innings, yet nearly ended up reaching his pitch count before he could get through the third. Manager A.J. Hinch said he told Kennedy before the third that he had just 10 pitches left.

After watching Kennedy get out of the inning without going over his limit, Hinch joked that they were going to tell him that before every inning from now on.

“I think I was probably trying to be too fine early on,” Kennedy said of why his pitch count got up there. “Like I would get guys with two strikes and then try to be a little too fine, make it a little too good. They were just taking, they had good eyes and made me throw a lot of pitches.”

Kennedy is a four-seam fastball guy who had fiddled with a two-seamer for a while before finally using it extensively in the Arizona Fall League last year. It was a pitch that worked well for him Friday.

“I feel pretty good with it,” Kennedy said. “I was curious to see how it was when games started, but it seems to still be there. That’s a pitch I need. You look at the best pitchers and they all have it. It’s just a pitch that saves you pitches later on in the game and can get you later in the game.”

So if you’re keeping track at home that means Kennedy’s arsenal includes a four-seamer, a two-seamer, a cut fastball, a curve and a change.

Now, Kennedy is still mainly going to throw his four-seamer, but he’s going to keep working on the two-seamer and he’d like Brandon Webb, who throws one of the best if not the best ones in the game, to show him how he throws his comebacker two-seamer that starts in on a left-hander’s hip and when they give up on it breaks over the inside corner for a strike.

Webb, you may remember, watched Greg Maddux use the pitch and decided to try throwing it and picked it up right away. Chances are it might take Kennedy a little more time.

CAN’T FORGET WEBBY: Webb played catch from about 140 feet and reported that it’s the best he’s felt. We’ll see how he progresses in the next few days, but he seemed very upbeat about it in the clubhouse afterwards.

Jackson and Kennedy to be introduced Tuesday

The D-backs announced that RHPs Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy will be introduced to the media at a press conference at Chase Field at 1:30 p.m. MST on Tuesday.

The pair were acquired in last week’s three-team trade at the Winter Meetings.

Both are familiar with the area. Jackson made his big league debut at Chase when he was just 20 years old and pitching for the Dodgers.

Kennedy, meanwhile, pitched a few months ago in the Arizona Fall League and joked with reporters after the trade was made that he would have done some house hunting while he was out here if he’d known he was going to get dealt here.

MLB.com will carry the press conference live.
 

Analyzing the Jackson deal

Now that we know the three-way blockbuster is complete pending review of medical reports, let’s take a closer look at some questions that either popped into my mind or into my inbox:

How good is Ian Kennedy?

Kennedy is a one-time No. 1 pick who missed much of last season after having surgery to take care of an aneurysm under his right armpit May 12. He pitched in four Minor League games for Scranton last year and made one appearance for the Yankees and tossed a scoreless inning.

The D-backs got a long look at him in the Arizona Fall League and liked what they saw. His fastball can reach the low 90s and he’s got a good curve to go along with his change and also throws a slider.

It seems the D-backs are higher on him than the majority of teams out there, but they feel pretty strongly about him so we’ll see how he pans out for them as their No. 4 starter next year.

Why would they give up Max Scherzer?

While there’s no questioning Scherzer’s potential, there are several hurdles still for him to get past in order to reach it.

The right-hander still needs to improve his pitch efficiency so that he can pitch deeper in games, needs to further develop his secondary pitches and also needs to show that he can cross the 200-inning barrier.

The D-backs must have felt that the above were real challenges for him and felt more comfortable with the combination of Edwin Jackson and Kennedy.

As for Schlereth, the potential is there, but there have always been concerns about his command.

What does this mean for the rest of their offseason?

They certainly are not done. When you factor in the salaries of the players involved as well as the prorated signing bonus of Scherzer the deal wound increasing the D-backs’ payroll about $4.25 million. That leaves them still with around $6 million to spend.

It’s likely that they will turn their attention to adding to the bullpen while also possibly adding a position player to strengthen the bench.

What position will they be looking to add?

It seems at this point they are flexible in that regard. With a versatile roster — is Conor Jackson going to play left or first — they have the ability to fit in just about any player into their plans.

What’s the bottom line?

If Kennedy pans out like the D-backs think he will and Jackson gives them two good years before becoming a free agent then this will wind up being a good deal for the D-backs. Is there risk involved in giving up someone with Scherzer’s ability? Absolutely and the D-backs are well aware of that. In their eyes this trade gives them a two-for-one in terms of pitchers and allows them to spend money they were going to have to spend on a fourth starter instead on improving the bullpen and the offense.
In the end you have to trust your scouts and if the D-backs feel as strongly as they do about Kennedy they have to follow that.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers