The Angels aren’t buyers and the Diamondbacks aren’t sellers, but it seems they might be able to help each other out by doing an Ian Kennedy deal.
Both CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman and FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal have mentioned the possibility. The Padres are also in the running, says MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert.
With Brandon McCarthy (shoulder) set to rejoin the rotation next week and Trevor Cahill (hip, shoulder) just a week behind, the Diamondbacks appear flush with starters. They’ve been using Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley, Kennedy, Randall Delgado and Tyler Skaggs of late, though Skaggs has already been demoted to make room for McCarthy. They also have top prospect Archie Bradley making noise with a 2.28 ERA in 15 starts in Double-A.
The problem is that, other than maybe Corbin, there’s not one guy there that seems like a front-line starter for a postseason rotation. It’s why the Diamondbacks have been mentioned in connection with the White Sox’s Jake Peavy and the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija. If they could move Kennedy and get a couple of prospects in return, it’d make biting the bullet on a Peavy trade a lot easier.
In Kennedy, the Angels would get a guy who has been a disappointment this year, but one who still makes a modest $4.3 million and who is under control through 2015. With few major league-ready arms in the farm system, he’d be a nice to have around, especially since he’ll cost about half as much as a comparable free agent starter next year.
Kennedy, 28, is 3-7 with a 5.22 ERA this year, though he’s still fanned 101 in 119 innings. He went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 2011 and 15-12 with a 4.02 ERA in 2012, striking out 385 batters in 430 1/3 innings between the two seasons.
The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.
In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.
On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.
Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.