Ian Kennedy Finds A Friendlier Home
The Ian Kennedy trade talks finally ended up materializing into a deal with the Padres. The final details were: Padres receive Kennedy in exchange for Joe Thatcher, Matt Stites, and a compensation pick in the 2014 draft. Kennedy is only piece in the deal that will have a substantial impact on fantasy teams for the rest of the season.
It’s no secret that Kennedy is an extreme flyball pitcher. Kennedy allows flyballs on 42% of balls put in play for his career. Flyballs travel pretty well in Chase Stadium, so it’s no surprise that he has struggled with the long ball. He’ll now be pitching in the much friendlier Petco Park. The fences have been moved in a little in San Diego, but it’s much too soon to now how much of an effect that has had on offensive performance. Petco’s park factor still favors pitchers by a wide margin. Its park factors sits at 92. A park factor of 100 is considered neutral, below 100 is considered pitcher friendly, and greater than 100 is considered hitter friendly. Kennedy’s new home should match his skill set a little better than Chase Stadium.
Kennedy’s 2013 has been a struggle so far, but most of the skills seem intact. He’s still striking out nearly as many batters as he has on average over his career. His walks have ticked up a bit in 2013, so that’s something to keep an eye on. Kennedy’s HR/FB rate sits at 12.5% in 2013. Pitching in San Diego should help this rate normalize back to his career average of 10%.
Ian Kennedy is much better suited for Petco Park and his numbers should improve due to his new surroundings. He should be much more helpful in fantasy going forward.