Ian Kennedy continued his great return from aneurysm surgery last night as he pitched three perfect innings for the Scranton Yankees.
Over three innings he allowed no hits, no walks, and stuck out six. He needed just 46 pitches to get it done and of those 28 were strikes. It was the first time Kennedy pitched as high as triple-A since April. During his four April starts he was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA.
It is still possible, but highly unlikely, that he could pitch for the Yankees this season. Most likely that’s not going to happen and instead he will be sent to the Yankees fall instructional league before pitching in the Arizona Fall League.
This is big news for the Yankees though because despite the fact that he has missed a lion’s share of the 2009 season, he did put up great numbers while he pitched. He might not have the prospect status he once had, but the way he’s continued to dominate the minors means he will have a real chance at playing in the Bronx next summer.
He isn’t likely to have a spot in the rotation, at least at first, but that could change. Phil Hughes has certainly pitched well enough at the big league level to warrant a rotation spot, Andy Pettitte is likely to return, and Chien-Ming Wang could return at some point as well. But things happen and injuries might pop-up and a spot could eventually be his.
More likely he could work his way in the bullpen as a long reliever especially since his innings total, even with the offseason pitching, is not what the Yankees would like it to be.