Hey everyone, so I checked out Kennedy’s pitchFX from the game. He was classified as throwing a fastball, a changeup, a slider, and a curve. Since there were many more curves than sliders (and the article adding that Kennedy doesn’t throw his slider much), that mysterious last strikeout was probably on a curve…
I saw Kennedy pitch several times in AAA, and I don’t remember him throwing a slider. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t, but he’s definitely a FB/CB/changeup pitcher. In AAA also he was able to get the radar gun up to 94 on occasion, but that was before his surgery. And of course I can’t vouch for how accurate the gun is/was.
Yankees fan here. I don’t recall IPK throwing a slider. I recall fastball, curveball, changeup. Maybe he’s added a cutter (which is sorta like a cross between a fastball and a slider, isn’t it?). I liked him, and wish him well. I have a soft spot for small righties w/o great stuff. Those guys have to PITCH, or they won’t last in the majors.
I think he can be an effective major league pitcher, but command is certainly key. With the Yankees, he struggled at times because major leaguers won’t swing at borderline pitches off the plate he must have gotten minor leaguers to swing at. His BB rate got unacceptably high. The NL should help, though his home park and his fly-ball tendencies may cancel some of that out.
The term “Control pitchers” means they need to spot precisely because they do not have overpowering stuff. “Command” is simply the ability (could be a game-to-game thing) to make a pitch do what you want it to, whether it’s a ball or strike takes a back seat to whether or not the pitch is employed effectively. It’s all about pitch sequence and hitting spots and dictating to the batter. These pitches might not finish in the strike zone, but are effective nonetheless if the pitcher has “command” over them. Subtle, grey area there that might depend on who you talk to or who you are talking about. Some pitchers are most in “command” when they seem completely out of control, btw.
At the time the Yanks brought IK up to the bigs, the Yanks had a master of “pitching” in Mike Mussina, who, the rationale was, might rub off on the youngster. Moose built a 270+ win career on staying in the black, mixing speeds by addition and subtraction, and, his talents in those depts grew with age. The tutelage didn’t quite happen for whatever reason, perhaps one being that ol’ Mike had so many different pitches by that time that he was probably more a student himself. Also, Moose didn’t seem to have a need to mentor anyone at that level. Believe he’s a high school coach out in Penn.