Last year at about this time, I ran into one of BP’s Yankee experts at a talk in midtown—a man whose opinion I admire immensely. What did he think of the Yanks’ 2006 draft? Like many sabermetrically inclined pundits, he dismissed the Yankee haul. Another bad draft for the pinstripers. A year later, Yankee scouting director Damon Oppenheimer appears to be vindicated. Joba Chamberlain, the team’s second pick, needs no introduction here. And the top selection, Ian P. Kennedy, will now take Mike Mussina’s place in the rotation, starting Saturday. What roster moves will be made to accomodate this transition are yet to be announced. [Note: rosters expand Saturday, so he only needs to be added to the 40-man.] Kennedy has dominated in the minors this season. In three levels he is 12-3 with a 1.91 era. At AAA Scranton, he has a 1-1 record and 2.08 era over 34.2 innings in which he has allowed 25 hits, walked 11, and struck out 35. He was born on December 19, 1984. Perhaps this move will be read as desperation. He has already thrown 146.1 innings this year. That’s a lot for a young arm. Perhaps he could work on that walk total a bit in the minors. But he does seem ready for the jump, at least according to the numbers. His delivery is kind of quirky; a bit short-armed. We’ll see what he’s got against the Rays. A potential 2008 rotation of Pettitte, Wang, Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy—well, it’s certainly intriguing. All home grown, even if Pettitte is a prodigal son, and Wang something of an import. Let’s see what we’ve got.
The Kennedy Administration: Inauguration on Saturday
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