(The kid looked good in the pinstripes.)
Yeah, me too. I mean, damn! I knew he was having a great year, but leading the NL in wins with 19? I don't care what anybody wants to say about that stat being meaningless, that's still impressive when you consider some of the other dominant pitchers out there in that league.
And he hasn't backed his way into it by any means. Dude has straight up become a good pitcher and his numbers across the board speak to that. 202 IP
and counting in 30 starts, 2 fewer than he made last year when he threw 194 innings, a 2.90 ERA
(down from 3.80 last year), a 3.37 FIP
(down from 4.33 last year), and a 3.51 xFIP
(down from 4.10 last year). Kennedy has improved his stuff and his command considerably, evidenced by a K/9 of 7.93
(up slightly from 2010), and a 2.27 BB/9
(almost a full walk less than 2010).
It's impossible to say how Kennedy's progression since being traded to Arizon would have played out if he stayed a Yankee. I'm sure the numbers above wouldn't be quite as good as they are pitching in the NL West if Ian had to face the Sawx and Rays and Jays all season, and he's still not much of a groundball pitcher (39.1%)
, which could be an issue in Yankee Stadium. But there's no denying that Kennedy has become the type of pitcher the Yankees envisioned when they called him up, and having a guy like that would certainly be a huge benefit to a rotation mired in inconsistency, questions, and a constantly-changing idea of who the real #2 starter is.
I'm not trying to say that I wish the Yankees wouldn't have made that trade. Curtis Granderson is an MVP candidate and I'm not missing Phil Coke or Austin Jackson at all. But when you look at what's become of Joba, and you look at Phil Hughes' struggles this year, you have to think back and wonder what could have been with Kennedy if the Yankees would have shown a little more faith and patience in the kid. It's a shame they didn't, but I'm glad to see somebody from the "Big 3" have some success.