Cut Kennedy some slack

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After signing a $70 million, 5-year contract with the Royals in 2016, Kennedy has had an up and down career with the Royals. In 2016, Kennedy posted a 3.68 ERA in 33 starts. Yes, I remember the Royals had to give up a draft pick to sign Kennedy. Remember, the Royals considered signing Scott Kazmir as well before signing Kennedy. Kazmir was under consideration before he signed a $24 million, 3-year deal with the Dodgers. Thank goodness the Royals didn’t sign Kazmir. He’s not even in Major League Baseball anymore. Now Kazmir plays overseas in the Eastern Reyes del Tigre of the Constellation Energy League. When the Dodgers signed Kazmir to that contract, they hoped it would pay off, but it didn’t. Kazmir didn’t even last two years with the Dodgers before being traded to the Atlanta Braves. When Kazmir was traded to the Braves, he only made it to spring training before the Braves cut him loose due to a fatigued arm. Now back to Kennedy. In Kennedy’s first season with the Royals, he posted a 3.68 ERA. He made 33 starts in 33 games finishing with a record of 11-11. He pitched in 195.2 innings that same season. The Royals signed Kennedy in hopes he could eat up innings. The next season he struggled, making only 22 starts. His ERA wasn’t great either. He posted a 5.38 era. His next season he bounced back with a 4.66 ERA. Unfortunately, he finished with a 3-9 record. That win-loss record has a lot to do with a bad bullpen. After that season, Kennedy’s starting days with the Royals were over. In 2019, the Royals moved Kennedy to the bullpen. After the Royals traded Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals, they put Kennedy in the closer role. He had a great 2019 season. During the 2019 season, he posted a 3.41 ERA in 63 games and saved 30 games for the Royals. That’s great if you ask me. Now in 2020, the Royals removed Kennedy from the closer role and just have him as another pitcher in the bullpen. That didn’t help at all. So far this season, Kennedy has posted a 7.82 ERA in 12 games as an opener and a few other bullpen roles. If I were the Royals, I would put Kennedy back as the closer. Next time you think about bashing on Kennedy,  just remember what could have happened if the Royals would have signed Scott Kazmir or any other starting pitcher from that free agent class.

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Author: Connor Miller

I am a huge baseball fan, mainly Royals. I love writing baseball articles. I have been a Royals fan since birth. I am hoping to become a sports journalist someday.

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