First, the bad news. For the second straight season, Ian Kennedy finished with a HR/9 rate north of 1.5 as he was absolutely crushed on the road (21 homers allowed in 108.2 innings). His groundball rate sunk to 33.2 percent while his flyball and hard-hit rates jumped considerably -- his hard-hit rate was the fourth-worst among qualifiers, which bodes poorly for his chances of reversing the trend. The right-hander saw a dip in strikeouts and now has gone four straight seasons without a winning record. On the plus side, Kennedy has proven durable, making 30-plus starts in seven straight seasons, and his job is safe with four years remaining on his deal (and little depth in the Kansas City rotation). His 22.5 percent strikeout rate was strong and his ratios were plenty useful last season even with all the homers. There may not seem to be much room for growth from his 36th-ranked finish among starters last season, but Kennedy probably won't be priced any higher than an SP4 or SP5.
Kennedy struck out none and walked one during a pair of scoreless innings in his spring debut Friday. The right-hander's first outing of the spring was largely uneventful. Kennedy is likely to begin the season as the Royals' No. 2 starter behind Danny Duffy.
Kennedy (11-11) lost after allowing three runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 7.2 innings during Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Indians. Kennedy turned in a valiant effort, throwing 110 pitches (75 strikes) and lasting until the eighth inning, but was saddled with the tough-luck loss. Kennedy's first year of his five-year, $70 million deal was a success, as he compiled a 3.68 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 195.2 innings. He projects to be a solid fantasy option again in 2017 at the age of 32.
Kennedy pitched five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five Twins in Tuesday's no-decision. For the second straight game, Kennedy delivered a performance that left much to be desired. Tuesday's five-inning outing was his shortest since July 25 (a span of 12 starts), and marked the first time since early August that Kennedy has failed to win a game in consecutive starts. After an impressive streak in which he avoided defeat in 10 straight games, Kennedy appears to be coming back to earth as the season winds down.
Kennedy (11-10) tossed 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out four Indians in Wednesday's loss. Entering Wednesday's contest, Kennedy hadn't allowed double-digit hits since Sep. 24 of last season, nearly a full calendar year. The righty's four strikeouts versus the Indians were his fewest in four starts this month, but his recent dominance should allow this outing to quickly be swept under the rug. Since the beginning of August, Kennedy has made 10 starts, going 5-1 with a stellar 2.48 ERA over 61.2 innings. His next start comes Tuesday at home against the Twins, a team he's beaten three times already this season.
Kennedy allowed two runs with six strikeouts and three walks across six innings en route to a no-decision Friday versus the White Sox. Kennedy twirled his second consecutive quality start after failing to do so in the previous three, but he was out-dueled be an in-form Chris Sale and could not notch his 12th win. The right-hander has been solid from a fantasy perspective this season, as he owns a 3.60 ERA to go along with a 8.7 K/9 rate, and he will next take the hill Wednesday versus the Indians.